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Neighbours fight plans for restaurant in ‘quiet corner’ of West End

Plan to open a new branch of rave-reviewed Flesh And Buns sparks objections

16 March, 2018 — By Richard Osley

 Residents are resisting plans for a new branch of Flesh And Buns in Berners Street

WITH a menu which includes softshell crab, spatchcock chicken and crispy piglet belly, it is a rave-reviewed restaurant that has foodies licking their lips.

But a plan to open a new branch of Flesh And Buns in Fitzrovia has sparked objections from neighbours who say their “quiet corner” of the West End is under threat.

Licensers were due to decide last night (Thursday) whether Bone Daddies’ new unit in Berners Street can have an alcohol licence, which would run to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

Managers at Flesh And Buns, which has a successful outlet in Earlham Street in Covent Garden, have written to neighbours in a bid to provide reassurance, but the final decision lay with councillors.

“This once quiet corner of Fitzrovia has been blighted by development works for the last 10 years,” said one resident in the street, who wrote to the council to object. “The noise from ongoing building works been horrendous. We are now also faced with increased traffic noise as more and more cars come into the area at night, increased delivery lorries to all the new cafés and bars start from 5am… the thought of a bar next door playing music is the final straw. It is currently the one noise we don’t often have to contend with.”

Another said: “When this building was being built we were told there would be an art gallery and maybe a restaurant which would close early. The large number of expected customers leaving at midnight on a weekday – school nights – and later on the weekend changes the make up of the area.

“Where there were previously offices we now have recorded music and alcohol to the early hours. I understand food makes nuisance and disturbance less likely, however disturbance does still happen.”

Some residents have been spooked by reviews from other venues run by Bone Daddies, the company which set up Flesh And Buns, including a report in Time Out which said that as you open the door you are met with “a barrage of belting rock guitar”.

But in a letter to residents, the company said the plan for Berners Street was more sedate, and reported that eight other venues were running without trouble.

“All these restaurants have a complaint-free record from local residents,” the letter said, adding that Flesh and Buns were “committed to continuing this high standard of responsible and sympathetic management alongside local residents on Berners Street”.

Police have said the outlet in Earlham Street has a great record.

Conditions of the licence are set to include no loudspeakers in the entrance lobby and the installation of comprehensive CCTV system.

‘Miss Havisham’ and the ‘Berners Street Hoax’

BERNERS Street was developed as a residential street in the 19th century but over the decades has been home to furniture sellers and musical instrument shops.

It is said that Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to the road and once saw a woman dressed entirely in white who apparently became the inspiration for Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.

In 1809 it was the scene of the so-called “Berners Street Hoax”, where chaos ensued after a prankster named Theodore Hook ordered hundreds of deliveries to arrive at the same address on the same day. Police were eventually called to disperse the crowds.

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