Restaurant in memory of brother set to open in Southsea

VENTURE Restaurant owner Scott Matthews.
VENTURE Restaurant owner Scott Matthews.
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A NEW Italian restaurant set up in memory of the owner’s brother has been granted a licence to sell alcohol despite a raft of objections.

Residents had raised concerns about potential noise, public nuisance, crime and disorder at J’s Italian in Jubilee Terrace, Southsea.

But city licensing councillors approved a bid for alcohol to be sold on the premises between 11am and 11pm from Sunday to Thursday and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Owner Scott Matthews, 27, who also runs Relentless restaurant in Elm Grove, Southsea, has named the restaurant after his late brother Jason.

Jason Matthews and friend Perry Morgan died instantly when the vehicle Jason was driving hit a tree in West Lane, Hayling Island, on September 1, 2011.

Brother Scott plans to open the restaurant on Monday, on the two-year anniversary of his brother’s funeral.

He said: ‘It’s named after my brother. He loved Italian food. We wanted to do it in his memory.

‘We want to make it the best. We want to get on with the residents – we want to do a coffee morning when we open and invite them round.

‘The restaurant is something for the family to remember Jason by.

‘He was a right character, he was larger than life. I hope he would be proud.’

Mr Matthews has apologised via his solicitor after run-ins with residents during refurbishment works on the new restaurant, including a comment he posted on social networking website Facebook prior to a decision on his application yesterday.

Part of the post read: ‘If you don’t like it put ya house up for sale.

‘Relentless’s J’s Italian is opening next door to you!!’

Councillor Rob Wood, representing some residents who raised concerns, said: ‘These people live here.

‘They are very concerned about noise and they are very concerned at making sure that whoever takes on that business works with the residents to make sure they earn their stripes.’

The licence has been granted subject to conditions including only serving alcohol with meals, not allowing entry after 10.30pm and not allowing alcohol or tables and chairs outside after 11pm.