Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bad Ass cafe wins legal battle against council over serving alcohol without food

Bad Ass Cafe in Temple Bar. Picture: Google Maps
Bad Ass Cafe in Temple Bar. Picture: Google Maps

The Bad Ass Cafe in Temple Bar has won a legal battle against Dublin City Council after it was cleared of breaching planning permission terms by serving alcohol without food.

Beneqeues Ltd, the operators of the restaurant, had been summonsed to court to face prosecution by Dublin City Council on charge of breaching their planning condition.

The prosecution came before Judge John O'Neill at Dublin District Court which heard that the Bad Ass Cafe's had permission for bar areas to sell alcohol strictly ancillary to the principal use of the premises as a restaurant.

Evidence was given enforcement officer Paddy Keogh who told the court that on April 25, 2014 he carried out an inspection at the Bad Ass cafe in Temple Bar. He said he was asked if he wanted to order food but he refused and he asked for a glass of Guinness which was served. He indicated in evidence that this was the basis for recommending that an enforcement notice being issued because he was served a drink without ordering food.

The enforcement notice warned the restaurant it had to comply with its planning permission and cease the sale of alcohol except than in conjunction with a meal, and to remove three illuminated signs advertising Guinness and Heineken from the Crown Alley facade of the building.

The council then summonsed the restaurant to face a criminal prosecution for failure to take the steps required under the enforcement notice.

The restaurant contested the charge and their legal representatives Compton Solicitors, took a challenge to the High Court which held that the prosecution was flawed and that it was incorrect to claim that the restaurant's bar area must only sell alcohol with food to every customer in order to comply with their planning permission

When the case resumed in the district court, Constance Cassidy SC (instructed by solicitor Lorraine Compton), for Beneqeues Ltd, told Judge John O'Neill that the High Court ruling recommended that the summons should be dismissed.

Judge O'Neill agreed and granted a dismissal, and he agreed to award full costs to Beneqeues Ltd.

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