Restaurateur Will Ricker has won an appeal against Westminster City Council to allow customers at his Soho restaurant, La Bodega Negra, to purchase alcohol without food.
Having initially been refused, Ricker instructed leading licensing lawyers, Poppleston Allen and barrister James Rankin, to appeal the decision and seek permission to allow up to 24 customers to purchase drink, without food, at the venue.
Commenting, Lisa Sharkey, partner at Poppleston Allen, said: "Our client was looking for a little flexibility in his trading to allow customers, many who regularly use the venue to dine, to stop by for a drink, without committing to ordering food. As a venue that has been, without exception, trouble free, we were confident that the request would be looked upon favourably. Despite the initial refusal, I'm delighted that on appeal, the judge found in favour of our client and has allowed the change in conditions, albeit the venue is within a recognised ‘stress area'."
Adding: "It's certainly rare that such a decision is granted in Westminster. I believe it was an exceptional case justifying a departure from the policy."