City of York Council says it has received 14 complaints about Tabanco by Ambiente in Walmgate (formerly The Press Kitchen) since 2018, with 11 of the complaints from one person. But others have praised the restaurant for being a “responsible” neighbour.
An unhappy resident has now called for the council to carry out a review of the restaurant’s licence, with a hearing due to take place on Monday.
They said they have concerns about noise, the number of people using the outdoor dining area, the opening hours for the yard and customers drinking alcohol in the outdoor area.
They write: “The level and nature of noise from customers using this yard is intrusive and unacceptable. It must be recognised that groups of people drinking alcohol in such an intrinsically quiet location are an unacceptable intrusion and cause a public nuisance.
“Effectively we now overlook a beer garden.”
They are asking the council to remove the yard from the premises licence and for it to be closed at 7pm Monday to Saturday and 5.30pm on Sundays.
But other neighbours have written in support of the business, saying they are not disturbed by noise and that staff are considerate and responsible.
One wrote that they have a young family and live nearby, saying they are “never disturbed by noise coming from the restaurant” despite sharing a wall with the business.
They add: “It is a lovely restaurant and the staff are always very considerate.
“With so many businesses closing down in the centre of the city, we should be encouraging and supporting those businesses that are still running, to continue to thrive.”
A customer also wrote to the council to say they ate in the courtyard and “were made to feel uncomfortable by a gentleman in one of the overlooking apartments standing on his balcony and observing us continually as we enjoyed our dinner”.
The customer praised the restaurant for its “responsible approach to licensing and the consideration they afford their neighbours”.
The council says it has issued four warning letters to the business in that time and that the owners have worked with officers from the local authority.
The team also says noise levels were not significant enough to be an unlawful nuisance - and that all the noise complaints lodged in 2021 were not recorded at an unreasonable time, but in the afternoon, and were not due to rowdy behaviour.
Police have carried out checks and said they would not be making any comments on the licence.
The council’s public protection team says: “The current premises licence owner has been running this premises since 2018 and the premises had a café area since 2014 therefore is not an introduction of a new noisy activity into a previously quiet area.
“It would therefore be unreasonable to require there to be no noise at all from the premises, especially as it is in the city centre.”
They say the manager has worked with the council on each complaint and taken action to resolve any issues, that the latest complaints have been made during the pandemic when businesses were told to use outdoor areas and that no unlawful nuisance has been witnessed by officers.
But they advise that the council could ask for a noise management plan to be added to the premises licence to help manage noise levels in future.