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STARTING POINT: Jesmond coffee shop’s alcohol bid approved

STARTING POINT: Jesmond coffee shop’s alcohol bid approved

Harvest Canteen in Jesmond, Image: Chronicle Live

A Jesmond coffee shop has been given the go-ahead to serve its customers alcohol to drink on the premises despite fears it would become a “starting point” for boozy nights out.

Previously Harvest Canteen, on St George’s Terrace, had a licence to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises from 11am to 11pm everyday.

However, owner Al Hammond was given permission to change this to 9am to 9pm everyday and  can now sell alcohol for consumption on the premises between 11am and 9pm daily.

Harvest Canteen is run by Ouseburn Coffee Company, which has a small roastery in Newcastle’s iconic valley.

At a meeting of the licensing sub-committee in mid October he told councillors that this would be the only way for his business to remain viable post-pandemic.

Mr Hammond also told councillors that the majority of his customers had “fell out of love with the city centre.”

He said: “We’re more neighbourhood centric serving the community.

“We tried to remain as a coffee shop in the evening but the reality is people don’t drink coffee late at night and prefer a glass of wine when they’re socialising.

“The landlord kindly halved our rent during the pandemic it isn’t viable when it returns to full rates.”

However one resident objected, raising fears that it would be a ‘starting point’ for drinkers.

They wrote: “The effect may be to make the ‘canteen’ a ‘starting point’ for people who would go on to the city centre and other hotspots. I feel it would make the area less safe and desirable.”

In response Mr Hammond told the committee that his drinks menu wasn’t geared towards selling cheap alcohol.

He added: “People could start [nights out] any where. We’re not creating a situation where we’re discounting drinks that could result in anti-social behaviour any more than visiting a supermarket or anywhere else in the city.”


Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter

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