WHITBY TOWN Council fears allowing a town centre restaurant to change the terms of its license would effectively lead to it becoming another bar.
Councillors registered their concerns about the White Horse and Griffin on Church Street when discussing an application to vary its conditions at a meeting on Tuesday.
The condition the new owners are asking to have lifted would allow alcohol to be served to customers without them buying food.
Other variations include serving alcohol between 9am and 11.30pm from Monday to Sunday.
Coun Steve Smith, chairing the licensing sub-committee, said: “We did have a working party that met with the owners and their solicitors. They listened to us but now the application has come in and from my perspective the biggest problem is that they are asking for a full license to sell alcohol which literally turns the place into a pub.”
He said it was also worth bearing in mind the restaurant fell within the conservation area and a police designated zone discouraging changes to licenses where there was already a cluster of establishments which served alcohol.
Coun Smith said while the new owners of the business had good intentions, there was a concern they would sell the business on in the future with a pub license.
Coun Amanda Smith added: “It is up to the applicant to prove that this is a good thing. It is not up to us to disprove it. I listened to what they had to say, I don’t feel they put forward a strong enough case for the serving of alcohol without food.”
It was felt it would lead to public nuisance and more people coming and going in what is a residential area.
She added: “The history just shows that there have certainly been problems when they serve alcohol without food.”
But Coun Terry Jennison added: “We are looking at the past and tarring the new owners with the same brush.”
It was agreed that should the license terms be changed by Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) then it be requested that the White Horse and Griffin put up notices asking patrons to leave quietly and that children are not allowed in areas where alcohol will be served without food after 8pm.
People have until Tuesday 5 March to put their representations forward.