New seafront food hall granted alcohol licence

A new food hall planned for Brighton seafront can sell alcohol once it opens.

Friday, 26th June 2020, 10:03 am
Previous works on the historic Shelter Hall

Two bars can operate out of the new Shelter Hall on the seafront after leaseholder Sessions Markets Ltd secured the licence after a hearing on Thursday, 11 June.

The Licensing Panel, chaired by Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, sitting with Green Lizzie Deane and Conservative Dee Simson, applied new conditions to ensure “substantial food” is available up to half an hour before the venue closes.

In the conditions, three kitchens must be open up to an hour before the bars close, and one 30 minutes before the bars close.

A further restriction related to potential pop-up bars should an alcohol company want to set up at the venue.

In this situation, any extra bar must be inside, at least two metres away from the Shelter Hall windows, and no more than two pop-ups are permitted.

The Shelter Hall is in the heart of the city’s nighttime economy area, and within Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ), where there are restrictions on new businesses selling alcohol.

In its decision, the panel said: “The panel is very mindful of the location of the premises in the CIZ and the need to ensure that the application will not add to problems in the area.

“However the panel believes that there are exceptional circumstances relating to this application; there has been positive and productive consultation with the responsible authorities whose requirements have been met, and the style of operation will be largely premium food-led with carefully chosen premium alcohol.”

During the panel hearing Sessions Market’s founder and CEO Daniel Warne spoke of his vision for a “unique” concept for Brighton and the country.

He said: “This will be a novel, unique destination for Brighton, the likes of which does not exist elsewhere.

“We throughout this process have really tried to immerse ourselves with the local community and with our partners, the council, who are the landlord on the building.

“We feel in order for this to be truly successful; it needs to feel like an authentic representation of the very best in the market.”

Seafront development manager Toni Manuel said the food hall at the bottom of West Street would help “dilute” some of the issues in the area by encouraging families to the seafront.