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Cardiff restaurant applying for 4am operating licence described as nightclub

Delta Lounge on Lower Cathedral Road in Cardiff applied to vary its premises licence to open from 9am to 4.30am during the week (Pic: Ted Peskett)

A CARDIFF restaurant and bar in a residential area that applied to stay open until 4.30am during the week is being run as a nightclub according to a licensing official.

Members of Cardiff Council’s licensing sub-committee refused Delta Lounge’s proposals to alter its premises licence at a meeting on Wednesday, May 22.

The venue, located in Lower Cathedral Road, is currently allowed to stay open until midnight at the latest.

Speaking at the meeting, a pollution control officer at Shared Regulatory Services (SRS), Emma-Jayne Barratt, said the application raised “serious concerns” and said noise complaints had already been made about music being played late.

She said that on one occasion, music from the venue could be heard by someone sat in a vehicle outside the building.

Ms Barratt said: “It is being run as a nightclub.”

Local councillor for Riverside, Cllr Caro Wild, said he liked the premises, better known as Rockin Chair by many in the area, but added that opening past 11pm was too late, adding that it can get “pretty noisy”.

“It looks like a fun place… [but] for us it is really in the wrong place,” said Cllr Wild.

“You only have to go a few hundred metres and you are right into houses in almost every direction.

“Personally, I think those hours are too late. I don’t think we should be negotiating past 11pm.”

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Delta Lounge applied to open its premises from 9am to 4.30am (Thursday to Sunday) and 9am to 6.30am (Friday and Saturday).

A video played at the licensing sub committee meeting showed a large crowd of people in Delta Lounge on an event which took place from Saturday, February 17, to Sunday, February 18.

In the video, people were dancing and loud music was audible. There was no sign of any food being served or eaten.

David Abuneke, who took on Rockin Chair in December 2023, said he wanted to extend the opening hours to accommodate for a lot of his clientèle who worked late hours and came in from 11pm.

He also said customers were asked to leave the premises quietly.

Mr Abuneke said: “To run a business like this is hard. I have lost all of my savings trying to get this place up and running.

“People who go there are not trouble makers… we don’t want to have problems with our neighbours.”

PC Jason Jones, representing South Wales Police at the meeting, said he also felt that the premises was being run more as a nightclub than a restaurant.

In highlighting concerns about public order, PC Jones pointed committee members’ attention to a report of a fight involving “multiple males” that police attended at about 2.23am on Friday, January 26.

Mr Abuenke said the fight did not take place inside the premises and that the issue occurred after someone was asked to leave, adding that an individual tried to have an argument with a bouncer on the door.

Delta Lounge’s application also included a proposal to sell alcohol on and off the premises from 9am to 4am (Sunday to Thursdays) and from 9am to 6am (Friday and Saturday).

They were also asking to host entertainment in the form of live and recorded music from 9am to 4am (Sunday to Thursday) and 9am to 6am (Friday and Saturday).