Reading Romanian restaurant wins alcohol sales bid

Traditoinal Romanesc, based in the former home of The Alfred’s Head pub on Chatham Street, opened last month replacing Italian restaurant Buon Apetito which closed earlier this year.

Its owner Paul Ciprian Chiritescu-Tanasa, who also runs a Romanian food shop on the Oxford Road, submitted an application to Reading Borough Council to sell alcohol.

The proposal was approved, meaning the restaurant, which serves traditional Romanian food alongside favourites such as pizza, pasta and European cuisine, will now be able to sell alcohol until 11.30pm seven nights a week.

The approval comes despite a neighbour’s concerns that punters would urinate in the surrounding area and make noise when leaving the restaurant.

In a written objection to the application, the neighbour said: “We have in previous years had issues of individuals urinating up against walls, throwing cigarette butts and other rubbish into gardens and basically being a nuisance at closing time.

“With the licence being extended to 11.30pm this would mean at least 30 minutes before customers are dispersed from the premises which in a residential area I feel is too late.”

The neighbour also stated the previously covered outdoor area is now open which could exacerbate noise emanating from the restaurant garden.

A council licensing applications meeting was meant to take place on Thursday, October 12 to make a decision on whether to grant the application, refuse it or make amendments.

However, the meeting was cancelled after an agreement was made between the applicant and the neighbour who objected.

Bill Donne, of Silver Fox Licensing Consultants, representing Traditional Romanesc said: “The application attracted one representation from a local resident, we have agreed terms.

“We applied for the sale of food and alcohol until 11.30pm, with closure at midnight to allow for drinking up time.

“The fallback position is that the garden will be cleared of all patrons by 11pm for that last 30 minutes.

“That’s reasonable and that’s not particularly different to how things work anywhere else.

“Should they wish to have background music, that will cease at 10.30pm.

“There was a bit of going back and forth but ultimately we agreed on the way forward.”

It means that Traditional Romanesc can sell food and alcohol from 10am to 11.30pm each day and close at midnight, which is an hour later than when Buon Appetito closed at 11pm.

The restaurant is currently open from 5pm to 11pm in accordance with the old Buon Appetito licence. Mr Chiritescu-Tanasa said that now the restaurant will be open from 12pm to midnight, with the option to open at 10am being available in the future if desired.

Mr Donne explained that the site has long been used as a restaurant and pub.

The building used to be The Alfred’s Head, which appeared in census data as far back as 1881.

Mr Donne added: “We received the objection very late in the day which triggered the meeting but we were able to come to an amicable agreement and all parties are satisfied.”

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre