Town centre venue has operating licence removed after continuous breaches

Makani Cafe, Taket Street. Picture: SOPHIE BARNETT

The premises licence for Makani Cafe has been revoked by Ipswich Borough Council - Credit: Archant

The premises licence for Makani Café, in Tacket Street, Ipswich, has been revoked by councillors after a number of breaches were reported, including CCTV issues and not enough door supervisors. 

Four warning letters from licensing enforcement officers were included in the evidence presented to the sub-committee which met today, April 26, to review the venue's licence to operate. 

It was stated that the premises is failing to "uphold the licensing objectives" to prevent crime and disorder, to prevent public nuisance and to ensure public safety. 

Amr Mohammed, owner of Makani Café, represented himself at the Ipswich Borough Council licensing and regulatory sub-committee hearing and said that many of the issues had happened because he trusted others named as designated premises supervisors. 

He said that for one breach - when a police officer claimed to witness people in the venue at 3am, when they were not licensed to be there - he had been in Egypt and had left the café to be run by supervisors. 

This supervisor, he said, was no longer with the business; when he left Mr Mohammed "promised we were going to run it properly". 

All issues after that supervisor left, he claimed, were the result of a difficult financial situation, which saw him unable to pay a security company for the necessary number of door supervisors. 

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He told the committee he had assumed, because it was much quieter than normal due to Covid restrictions, he would not need as many supervisors. 

Amy Ling, licensing enforcement officer, said "multiple efforts" had been made by the team - including "countless hours" spent by her personally - to "support" Mr Mohammed but the breaches had continued despite this. 

Her request to the committee was that it revoke the licence as, "based on experience", any further conditions were unlikely to be followed. 

Councillor Sarah Barber, chair of the sub-committee, along with councillor Kelvin Cracknell and councillor John Downie, determined that Amr Mohammed's premises licence - which allows for the sale and consumption of alcohol, as well as provision of late-night refreshment and live music and entertainment - should be revoked. 

He will be given the opportunity to appeal.