Revealed: Why two York restaurants could lose their licences

The Regency Chinese restaurant on Barbican Road. Photographs: Richard McDougall
4 Jun 2020 @ 7.00 pm
| News

The case against two York restaurants battling to retain their licences has now been fully revealed.

As we reported in February, City of York Council is reviewing the licence of the two Regency restaurants, on two grounds:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety.

That review will take place at a licensing hearing on Monday (8 June).

And the papers published ahead of the meeting outline what enforcement teams discovered when they raided the restaurants, on Barbican Road and George Hudson Street.

Foul water and grease

On 6 September 2019 a team, including officers from the police, the council licensing department, fire safety and Home Office immigration, deployed a warrant and searched the Barbican Road premises.

Three Chinese nationals were arrested on suspicion of working in the UK illegally.

According to official statements, in the first floor gent’s toilet there were cigarette butts and a strong smell of smoke. On the same floor, there was evidence of people sleeping in the karaoke rooms, as well as gambling equipment including dice and shakers.

A severely blocked drain at the entrance to the car park was “overflowing with foul water and grease”.

A large pool of water was found on the kitchen floor, flowing out of one of the units.

In August 2018, the Regency on Barbican Road was fined £8,000 for multiple hygiene breaches.

Fire safety issues

The Regency on George Hudson Street. Photograph © Google Street View

A series of fire safety issues were discovered including a faulty fire alarm, padlocks on doors to sleeping accommodation, fire doors held open and fire exits blocked.

Several licence breaches were discovered, including no staff paper records or incident book.

They also discovered the CCTV wasn’t working properly.

Enforcement officials also entered the George Hudson Street restaurant and found four people working illegally.

Because the designated premises supervisor – the person who authorises the sale of alcohol – was not available, the police issued the premises with a closure notice.

Council options

Altogether immigration officers have carried out five enforcement visits the Regency, Barbican Road, and three to the Regency on George Hudson Street.

A total of 18 individuals were arrested on suspicion of working illegally, 12 from the Barbican Road premises, and six from the George Hudson Street property.

Members of the City of York Council licensing sub-committee will review the evidence against both restaurants on Monday.

They can then decide from several options including:

  • to modify the conditions of one or both of the restaurant’s licences
  • to suspend the licence
  • to revoke the licence.