New Southsea restaurant owner promises longer opening hours will not cause disturbance

A NEW Southsea restaurant that came under fire for extended opening hours will create up to 30 jobs and not cause disturbance, a developer has promised residents.

Saturday, 23rd June 2018, 2:39 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd June 2018, 3:48 pm
Verso Lounge ( 1st September 2017 )

The News reported that the proposed eatery on Palmerston Road had garnered objections from locals who feared extending its hours to 9am to 11.30pm would lead to noise and anti-social behaviour.

The site, which would replace a former Laura Ashley store, has been earmarked by Loungers Limited for a family restaurant similar to those the company has across England.

A property developer for Loungers Limited explained the need for the extension.

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Raj Manek said: ‘Originally a planning officer at Portsmouth City Council recommended to the committee that they grant us a licence until 11pm but they were overruled.

‘We want the longer hours so our customers aren’t suddenly rushed to finish their food and drink.

‘We are not a bar or a club but a family restaurant that would provide an all day menu with everything from breakfast, tapas, cakes and coffee available.

‘We are certainly not a pub – we do not play loud music or have televisions or fruit machines and our customers sit at tables rather than vertical drinking.

The majority of our custom is generated before 4pm in the afternoon.

‘Of course we would sell alcohol but that’s only a small element of it, to go with meals.’

Mr Manek believed the cafe would boost the local economy.

He said: ‘We plan to invest over £600,000 in improving the currently vacant property and would create between 25 to 30 new jobs.

‘If our planning application is not successful then we would not be able to progress with the opportunity and this investment in the community would be lost.

‘The Lounges also pride themselves on being a space for local community groups to meet and talk.

‘We raise a significant amount of money for local charities and aim to become a hub in the neighbourhood.

‘Our desire to open in Southsea has been developed because our customers have asked for us to open here and we believe a Lounge would be a valuable addition to the community.’

If the licence is approved at a future meeting Loungers Limited hope to have the restaurant running by December this year.