Sunday, 20 August 2017

Pub set to become third outlet serving customers outside

A PUB is set to have tables and chairs in Henley market place.

A PUB is set to have tables and chairs in Henley market place.

The Henley Brew House, which is on the corner of Market Place and King’s Road, has applied for permission to take over the space previously used by the Green Olive restaurant, a few doors away. The restaurant decided not to seek renewal of its permission.

The existing outlets to have tables and chairs in Market Place are Starbucks and the Loch Fyne restaurant. The Bloc Brazilian café, which also had some, closed in May.

Victoria Elliott, manager of the Brew House, told a meeting of the town council’s town and community committee: “It is not just supporting ourselves, it is also the community and we are not looking for anything different than what Loch Fyne is privileged to do.

“Our food and drink ratios are on a par with Loch Fyne and I know as I used to be a manager there.” She said the pub, which opened in November, wanted to have a bigger role in the community and pointed out that it had contributed towards the cost of late-night buses for the regatta and provided the pancakes for the mayor’s annual charity pancake race.

Councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin asked: “Are you confident you could take meals down from the Brew House to Market Place?”

Miss Elliott replied: “I used to do it all the time at Loch Fyne and you would need a service table down there but it is only going to be for the summer months.”

Committee chairwoman Pam Phillips said: “Unlike Loch Fyne, where you would go straight out, you would have to manage the pavement with pedestrians while carrying hot food.” Miss Elliot said the pub would carry out a risk assessment survey.

Councillor Dieter Hinke said he supported the idea, adding: “I certainly miss the café culture that we have had over the last few years. It gives vibrancy to the town.”

Cllr David Nimmo Smith said that at one time there were five outlets offering al fresco food and drink, including Patisserie Valerie.

“I think it would be appropriate to have more out there, he said.”

Councillor Joan Bland said: “I have to declare an interest as I am a beer drinker. I think we are very lucky to have the Brew House — it is a tremendous success. It would be wonderful to drink a beer with their lunch outside the Green Olive.”

Councillor Will Hamilton added: “This is a restaurant/ pub that has come to the town with a great reputation and a great product offering.I think we should give it a trial run.”

Cllr Hodgkin said the committee had rejected a similar application from the Argyll pub. “I think we have got to be fair,” she said. “I don’t see how we can refuse one two months ago and allow this.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton said the Argyll already had an outside space and Deputy Mayor Martin Akehurst said there was a difference as there was a road between the Argyll and the pedestrianised part of Market Place.

The committee approved the application unanimously and a final decision is due to be made by the full council on August 6.

Town clerk Mike Kennedy told the Henley Standard that the Argyll’s application was refused because there were then five businesses with tables and chairs outside and the committee felt six would be too many.

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