Goodmayes restaurant loses licence

A Goodmayes restaurant owner has lost his licence after his restaurant was used as a “lookout” to evade police.

Police claim the owner of Eyva Turkish Grill and Meze Bar on Goodmayes Road “knowingly aided and abetted” a shisha bar’s attempt to stay open past curfew on October 31 last year.

On January 12, Redbridge Council’s licensing committee heard reports the owner of the bar below Eyva was watching for police from inside the restaurant when they arrived at 10.30pm.

PC Matt Brown said he followed what he believed to be the bar owner’s route through the restaurant and down into After Hours Shisha and found 12 customers still inside.

Restaurant owner Hikmet Kilicoglu called this “total nonsense” but failed to give police CCTV footage from that night, later claiming the system was not working at the time.

The licensing committee also heard the restaurant was itself fined £1,000 for letting customers wait for food inside on October 2 and had neither paid nor appealed.

Committee chairman Cllr Roy Emmett (Lab, Hainault) wrote that members were “astonished” to be shown some sections of the CCTV from October 31 during the meeting last week.

Cllr Emmett wrote: “This demonstrates that Mr Kilicoglu lied to both the police and Redbridge licensing enforcement when he told them (the footage) did not exist.

“He went to some length to support the lie by supplying the officer with a fake document in the form of a headed letter purporting to show that the system was undergoing maintenance.

“We are surprised that a decision was made to “cherry pick” sections of the CCTV and not produce the footage for the hour requisitioned.

“If (After Hours owner) Mr Dada was not using Eyva as a lookout, then surely the CCTV would show this.”

PC Brown claimed Mr Dada “was crouched down inside Eyva and ran through the kitchen” when officers arrived to investigate a noise complaint.

He told the committee he entered Eyva and found Mr Kilicoglu, who claimed not to have seen anyone run past, as well as stairs leading from the restaurant to the basement-level bar.

He said there were 12 customers inside After Hours Shisha, although the committee heard that the bar maintains these were staff members attending training.

In his submission to the committee, Mr Kilicoglu wrote: “I have not helped, aided and abetted or knowingly done anything to assist anyone in breaching the COVID regulations.

“I take the (COVID) situation very seriously and I have no intention of allowing my staff or customers to be exposed to any risk.”

Cllr Emmett wrote that the committee accepted After Hours Shisha broke COVID regulations on October 31 with the help and tacit consent of Eyva restaurant.

He added: “We take these breaches very seriously indeed coming at a time when the London Borough of Redbridge was recording some of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in London.”

Eyva Turkish Grill and Meze Bar will no longer be allowed to stay open until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays or sell alcohol.

At the time of the meeting, no enforcement action had been taken against After Hours Shisha.

Mr Kilicoglu was contacted for comment on the decision but had not responded at the time of writing.


Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter