To drink or not to drink: Hamlet Cafe alcohol licence challenged by residents citing ‘abuse’

Hamlet Cafe &Restaurant

Hamlet Cafe &Restaurant. Photograph: Google

A row centring around an Islington cafe is to come before the Council’s licensing sub-committee.

Hornsey Road’s Hamlet Cafe is applying for a license to serve alcohol from 10am to 10pm, Monday-Sunday.

However, residents objecting to the application claim that granting the licence would lead to ‘aggressive outbursts and public order problems,’ with one resident requesting to remain anonymous specifically due to abusive behaviour from ‘Mr Dougan’.

It is unclear whether Dougan owns, manages, or simply works at the cafe.

In a letter submitted in opposition to the application, the resident said: “There are some vulnerable individuals who ‘hang out’ in the Hamlet Cafe. The last thing these people need is a conducive environment [for] alcoholism.

“We have had quite enough of out-of-permitted working hours from the cafe, which has a total disregard for Islington planning law and regulation.

“I would ask as there have been so many instances [of] Islington council noise team, environmental control having to deal with and serve notices on Mr Dougan that I could remain anonymous. He became extremely abusive!”

Three other residents have written in opposition to the plans. Another wrote: “To grant the Hamlet Cafe an alcohol licence would only encourage further the criminal fraternity already living and frequenting the immediate area.

“I do not see that I or any of the other residents should have to fear walking out of our flats…without being accosted by drunken hooligans or criminals.

“Not forgetting the element of drug dealing that is sure to take place. Where there is alcohol and drugs, violence is sure to follow.”

None of the claims made by residents in the report submitted to the sub-committee have been substantiated.

One resident, however, wrote in support of the Hamlet Cafe’s ambitions, saying that the licence would ‘fill a gap created locally by a number of pub and bar closures in recent years that have left this area lacking in evening nightlife.

‘I also feel that the cafe will act responsibly in terms of noise and behaviour and do not feel there will be negative effects should you choose to grant this licence.’

Islington’s licensing sub-committee meets to consider the application on 7 August.