Struggling restaurant’s outside area accepted

Exterior of Blossom Garden chinese restaurant, 1-3 Buccleuch St., Dalkeith
Exterior of Blossom Garden chinese restaurant, 1-3 Buccleuch St., Dalkeith

A struggling restaurant has had its attempt to generate more income with an outdoor eating area approved,despite objections from locals.

The owners of the Shebeen Restaurant on Buccleuch Street in Dalkeith are trying to reverse the fortunes of the former Blossom Garden, and made an application for a licence at last week’s Licensing Board meeting to allow outside eating and drinking.

Their variation of licence application was to provide this addition until 10pm in the evening and extend general opening hours to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

However, the outside application met opposition from police and local residents concerned about noise.

Chief Inspector Kenny Simpson said: “It should be refused as the outside area is overlooked by residents, so it has the potential to impact on their lives. And the application has the potential to increase alcohol fuelled violence.”

Lawyer Alastair MacDonald representing the restaurant said: “The last thing the applicant wants to do is disturb neighbours.

“They do not want to cause any disturbance, they want to operate a restaurant business in a place that has been unsuccessful in the past.”

Ian Hudson of the Shebeen Group said: “We set up three years ago and did really well in Edinburgh. There are not a lot of restaurants in Dalkeith, so we thought it would an opportunity here.

“We have refurbished the property. We had a lot of problems at the rear of the property. We are completely happy to raise the fence to satisfy our neighbours. And we will put up a sign to say ‘don’t disturb our neighbours’.

“We are not asking for a licence to have big parties and annoy our neighbours.

“It’s just for people to have a meal outside if they want.

“We are barely breaking even in Dalkeith. So we are trying to do things to help the business, and this is just one of the ideas we have come up with.

“We are happy to work with our neighbours to appease any objections that they have.”

Mr Hudson then greed to pass on his phone number to an objector in attendance at the meeting to open up on-going dialogue between the restaurant and local residents.

Councillor Alex Bennett (Lab), said:”As elected member for Dalkeith I want this to thrive. The premises has been there for as longs as I can remember. I think the concerns have been addressed by the applicant today. I move that we grant the application.”

The application was granted with conditions.