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Newcastle kebab shop renews row with police after customers left ‘baffled’ by closure times

A Newcastle kebab shop has renewed a battle with police after claiming its customers had been left “baffled” by restrictions on the city centre unit.

German Doner Kebab (GDK) previously clashed with Northumbria Police shortly after it launched its Newgate Street site in late 2021, amid worries that its plan to open until 5am would exacerbate crime and disorder problems between the busy areas of the Bigg Market and The Gate. Limits imposed by Newcastle City Council after that row resulted in the chain having to block anyone but delivery agents, from services like Deliveroo, from entering the takeaway after 2am.

GDK has pleaded with authorities again this week to relax those rules and give it greater freedom to trade. Having initially sought to revive its unrestricted 5am opening bid, representatives of the “gourmet” kebab shop told a council hearing on Tuesday that they would be willing to accept a compromise allowing walk-in patrons and people ordering for click and collect in until 3am – with the delivery service continuing for two hours beyond that.

Barrister Charles Holland told the council’s licensing sub-committee that GDK diners were “baffled” as to why they can’t walk into the site after 2am when the kitchen is clearly open and delivery drivers are coming in and out. He argued that the measures are “discriminatory” against local residents, shift workers, people who either cannot or do not want to use Deliveroo, and Muslim customers with “very limited” options to buy the kind of premium halal food it serves.

Mr Holland described GDK as a “ruthlessly efficient” operation that does not leave people lingering, but with an “immaculate” look and a “calm and friendly” atmosphere”. The venue has argued that its area of Newgate Street is relatively quiet, particularly after the 2023 closures of The Lofts nightclub and adjoining pub The Hustle, and claimed police had a “lack of evidence” to show that there is a problem there.

Mr Holland also pointed out that competitors like McDonald’s, Greggs, and Yummies are already allowed to open for walk-in customers later into the night and accused authorities of risking a “monopoly of the mediocre” if new operators were not allowed to compete.

Police sergeant Julie Cottiss accepted that GDK was a good operation but raised concerns about “flashpoints” or “violence” emerging if there are more people gathered near it later into the night after going in for a takeaway and then congregating outside, in taxi queues, and on the Bigg Market.



See inside the new German Doner Kebab restaurant on Newgate Street in Newcastle city centre.
Inside the German Doner Kebab restaurant on Newgate Street in Newcastle city centre.

She agreed that Newgate Street is currently quieter than it once was but warned that it might not stay that way, saying: “We have to bear in mind that the city is constantly regenerating. I don’t accept that Newgate Street will be quieter forever. We have to be mindful of other operations coming into play going forward.”

Force solicitor Hayley Hebb also questioned whether the alleged confusion about the takeaway’s current restrictions are “unworkable” and said there is “no evidence of any public demand” for a change. However, council licensing boss Joanthan Bryce backed the 3am compromise and praised GDK for operating “without any breach or complaint” since it opened in 2021 following a £1 million investment.

The committee is expected to issue a decision on GDK’s licence application within five working days.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/newcastle-kebab-shop-renews-row-29178273

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