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Vinoteca Soho forced out by licencing difficulties

Published:  12 September, 2018

Vintoeca has called time on its Soho venue after pressure from the local authority meant either changing its business model or closing its doors.

A statement on the company’s website said it would no longer be able to serve wine to customers unless they eat a full table meal – a change that would “restrict our trade and understandably cause confusion”.

Co-owner Charlie Young confirmed to Harpers that he and partner Brett Woonton are now looking for a replacement in the area which is more suited to its model of serving wine with small plates.

The new site would need to be one that “doesn’t restrict the service of alcohol without a full meal”, although, this may prove difficult in Soho, Young acknowledged: “Premise licences list different restrictions, but particularly in Soho – a high stress area – there are very specific restrictions on drinking without a full meal, unless the permitted use is for a bar.”

All of the staff in Soho’s Beak Street have been relocated to other Vinoteca sites.

After six years in Soho, Young now hopes to find a new venue and open before next spring, alongside other plans for growth.

This includes Vinoteca’s first out-of-London site – part of the Paradise development in central Birmingham – which is due to open in spring 2020.

There is also an “exciting London development” in the works, which could be ready for opening in the first half of 2021.

“So between building our current estate and the possibility of one new site a year over the next there years, this should keep us on our toes,” said Young.

Yeni Lokanta, an award-winning restaurant from Istanbul, is due to take up residence in 53-55 Beak Street.