Young celebrity chef to head bar and restaurant in Chester


Neil Bellis

THE licence for a new city centre restaurant and bar backed by the owners of nightclub, Cruise, and a celebrity chef, has been granted by the council.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s licensing committee yesterday agreed to grant a late licence to one of Britain’s youngest head chefs, Luke Thomas, 20, from Connah’s Quay, who has teamed up with Odysian Holdings Ltd to open a new fine dining and restaurant/bar establishment over two floors at the old print works on St John Street in the city centre.

The restaurant is expected to be open towards the end of the summer and will be the second Luke, who has appeared on Junior MasterChef and the Great British Menu after starting his career at the Grosvenor in Chester, has run after a restaurant in Cookham, Berkshire.

The committee granted the licence for the restaurant/bar, which is next door to Off the Wall, to have live and recorded music and serve alcohol from 10am until 2am.

City centre Councillor, Sam Dixon, raised concerns to the committee about the late opening hours and asked for the hours to be cut to midnight due to the excess noise local residents on nearby Lumley Place currently endure.

Cllr Dixon said: “I welcome the proposal for the premises, it has been empty for years.

“I believe they should have a premises licence but my request is that it should only be open until midnight.

“The city centre has a growing residential population and in recent years more bars have been opened and the locals have been ignored in favour of the bars.

“Residents in the city centre witness unacceptable behaviour which is mostly fuelled by drink. They should be able to have a good night’s sleep.”

The application was the first heard by the licensing committee since the introduction of the new cumulative impact policy which meant the applicant, Odysian Holdings Ltd, had to prove their premises would not add to the noise issues which occur on St John’s Street.

Brendan McLoughlin, managing director of Odysian Holdings Ltd, said the new premises would not cause any issues because the bar on the ground floor would have a “relaxed atmosphere” where people could eat without music playing loudly and the restaurant upstairs would be for fine dining.

Mr McLoughlin said: “We do not believe we will have an impact on the area.”

The licensing committee took into account the fact there had been no objections from the environmental team who look at noise levels and no objections from Cheshire Police.

They also praised the management of Cruise nightclub which the committee said was very “professional”.

The committee granted the application subject to signage being put up about customers making noise when they were leaving.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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