Crewe restaurant can’t sell alcohol any more after shisha smoking breaches

Customers were repeatedly allowed to smoke shisha pipes in an enclosed area at the Swish Lounge

Swish Lounge in Crewe (Image: Google)

The Swish Lounge at Crewe has had its premises licence revoked because it repeatedly allowed customers to smoke shisha pipes in an enclosed rear area.

The restaurant, which is at the front of the Mill Street premises, can still trade as an eatery but it won’t be allowed to sell alcohol.

Cheshire East’s commercial services team called for the premises licence to be revoked because of repeated breaches of the Health Act, where the pipes were smoked.

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Briona Turner, of the council’s commercial services team, told a meeting of Cheshire East’s licensing sub-committee the breaches had occurred at the back of the property.

She said although the roof to the rear yard area of the premises is retractable, once it is closed there can be no smoking of any products there by law.

“The premises have been visited on numerous occasions, starting with the initial visit at September 29, 2021,” Ms Turner told the committee.

“This was the first time that the premises owner, Mr Anik Senior, and the manager were informed of the requirements to comply with Section Eight Health Act 2006 namely, in this case, to keep both sides of the roof fully open when anyone’s smoking, including the shisha pipe.”

“In order to try and find a compromise with the premises to allow smoking shisha on the premises, the owner suggested that he would instal bifold doors along the rear wall and when all the doors in this area were open, the roof would not have to be retracted,” said Ms Turner.

She said when she last visited the premises in November the doors had still not been installed.

In the meantime a video had been posted on Facebook ‘which clearly shows people smoking shisha pipes and cigarettes in the rear of the premises with the roof closed’.

An extract of this video was shown to councillors at the licensing meeting.

Ms Turner said when the manager and Mr Anik were questioned about the video, they said it had been pre-recorded and edited as a promotional video for the premises.

The Cheshire East officer detailed at least nine occasions where she was aware of breaches of the legislation.

She told the committee: “If the people who control the premises can breach legislation after being provided with both verbal and written information on how to comply, as a responsible authority I have no confidence that they will comply with any additional conditions. The only proportionate and reasonable action is therefore to revoke the licence.”

Swish Lounge is owned by Abdullah Anik.

His son, referred to as Mr Anik Jnr during the meeting, told the committee his father was a successful and respected businessman and the manager, who had run Swish, no longer worked for the restaurant.

He said there had been a misunderstanding around the complexities of the licence and the rules.

He asked if there was a shisha licence and when told there wasn’t, he asked how it could be revoked.

Mr Anik Jnr said Swish Lounge is a Turkish restaurant providing 10 jobs and the shisha part is just the rear garden.

“I believe that it will be very unfair to revoke the full licence, when there’s a restaurant operating in the front side which is totally separate from the rear area,” he said. “And having been told that there’s no shisha licence, I believe there’s nothing to revoke.”

The licensing meeting took place on December 6, but the decision was not published until this week.

The Swish Lounge does have a right to appeal the decision.

  • 05:00, 10 JAN 2023