Edinburgh bakery Storries at Leith Walk under threat of losing late licence

Edinburgh night-time institution under threat
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Much-loved 24-hour Edinburgh bakery Storries at Leith Walk has launched a petition as it fights to retain the late licence it has had for 24 years.

For all that time, thousands of hungry Edinburgh residents have popped into the 24-hour bakery for a snack after a night out, along with night-time workers, including from the NHS and emergency services. This staple of Edinburgh life is now under threat after Storries had to apply for a new late licence instead of simply renewing it as they had in the past.

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The Leith Walk business blames Covid for this change, with owner Kenny Leadingham hoping his petition will persuade the council to allow its late licence to continue, or he says he will be forced to let some staff members go.

Storries on Leith Walk has had its late licence since 1999.Storries on Leith Walk has had its late licence since 1999.
Storries on Leith Walk has had its late licence since 1999.

He said: “This started because of Covid. Because we couldn’t open at night then, during the lockdowns. The council told us not to renew our licence until Covid is over, so they have taken it as a new licence and it goes through the process again.

"The council has since apologised for that advice. But I still have to go through all this, and it’s a pain in the backside.

"The police think our bakery is a hub, that everybody comes here at night and there could be trouble. But there is no trouble here, it’s a bakery!

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"There has been one or two incidents in 20-odd years so it’s not a problem. Every business that operates at night has that now and again.

"We get firefighters, police officers, council workers and other night-time workers coming here, not just clubbers.

"If we lose our licence I would have pay people off. It’s that serious. We get people coming from all over to get a pie at night. It’s very popular.”

A bakery has operated at the Leith Walk shop unit for more than 100 years, with it becoming Storries in 1972. It has had a late licence since 1999.

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Kenny will now have to argue his case to retain Storries’ current 24-hour status at the City Chambers on June 12.

He said: “I have got to go to the City Chambers to put my case forward and they will approve it or not. I think this petition will help show the strength of feeling about having Storries open at night.

"I have got a local councillor and a local MSP involved now, they think this is a joke. The local MSP, Ben Macpherson, said he will help me with communicating with the council.

"This is all down to Covid, making me apply for a new licence instead of renewing it. Which will cost me hundreds of pounds more. It’s a joke.”

The City of Edinburgh Council has been contacted for comment. More to follow.

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