Owner left furious after Leith Walk kebab shop loses licence

Amir Hassan has had his late night licence revoked. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Amir Hassan has had his late night licence revoked. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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A kebab shop owner has been left furious after the council suspended his late-hours licence.

Imran Hassan and his staff, including dad Amir Hassan, are understood to have been caught more than a dozen times by council officials serving customers when they were supposed to be closed.

But Mr Hassan, 21, claimed he had only stayed open late three times – branding each occasion an “accident”.

The owner of the Original Best Turkish Kebab House on Leith Walk, which he took over in August, has now been told he must close at 11pm every night.

He previously had a licence to serve customers until 1am from Sunday to Thursday and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Council officials began to investigate following complaints from neighbours.

Mr Hassan said the ruling had “destroyed” his business.

He said: “I don’t know what they expect us to do, on two occasions we were only ten minutes over our closing time, and on the third we were half an hour over – only because we had been closed for refurbishment for three weeks and customers were pleased we were back open again.

“We can’t just throw our customers out into the street if they’ve paid and are waiting for their food to be cooked.”

He added: “We just feel like the council has been very harsh on us. They could have given us more warning they were planning on revoking our licence.

“We never received anything in writing after the officers had been in and then apparently the council sent us a letter on December 30 to attend a committee that we never received.

“I’ve had to cut three staff members, it’s just been devastating for us.”

A council source said residents in neighbouring tenements had complained about the takeaway exceeding its trading hours on multiple occasions.

It is understood that police visited on one occasion, 30 minutes after closing time, and found staff still serving.

One regular customer said he was “gutted” the takeaway would be shutting at 11pm.

He said: “I’m absolutely gutted the kebab shop has lost its late licence.

“The council is out of order – what harm is it doing anybody?

“I love going there on a Friday night after a few pints in Leith Walk with my friends.

“Their kebabs are amazing and the staff are really friendly, always up for having a laugh and a joke with the punters. There was always a great atmosphere in the shop.”

The city council confirmed the late-hours licence had been suspended and that a report had been filed with the procurator fiscal

A spokeswoman said: “A Late Hours Licence for a premises at 266 Leith Walk was suspended following meeting of the licensing sub-committee.

“A report on the circumstances which led to the suspension of the licence has been sent to the procurator fiscal and therefore the council cannot comment further.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk