[UPDATE: We've heard that Harris & Hoole have withdrawn their application. Was it just a speculative punt to widen their range of options or part of a clear strategy to add booze to the mix? Who knows? Well, they do presumably.]
We’re doomed! Doomed! Tuesday’s Evening Standard reported on local opposition to a booze licence application by coffee chain Harris + Hoole for their St Margarets store.
According to the paper’s website, H+H is seeking a licence to sell alcohol from 11.00am to 10.00pm. A cafe that serves wine & beer? Sounds a bit like something for the bloody Frenchies if you ask us. But some locals aren’t having any of that thank you very much. The Standard cites Mark Halton (of the borough’s police licensing team, no less) as having objected to the application on the grounds that it will “attract street drinkers to the area and this will cause an increase in anti-social behaviour”. Ouch! But that’s not all, Mr Halton is also quoted as saying: “This will increase the likelihood of children witnessing drunkenness and urinating in the street”. Blimey. Yes, alcohol can cause significant problems but who’d have thought the antics of a Tesco-backed speciality coffee-house could be so devastating. Presumably all these booze-crazed anti-social street-pissers are the ones who’ve so far shunned the St Margarets Tavern, Turks Head and Crown pubs (and all the shops making off-sales) in the expectation of a cafe selling a bit of booze in St Margarets. Hmmm.
Or does the threat come from all the local yummy mummies, so skilled in making their skinny lattes last for over an hour, who’ll now be ditching their daily coffee shot in favour of something stronger? We just don’t know.
Either way it could well be the thin end of the wedge. Expect Italian influenced Caffe Nero to start serving ‘grappaccino’ in Twickenham sometime very soon. Hic!
* Evening Standard
[and thanks to Alexis who also picked up on this story in his comment here]