Pintxos 44, a new wine and tapas venue, is set to open soon on Austhorpe Road in Cross Gates. The arrival of this establishment has sparked concerns within the local community about potential disturbances due to late-night activities and music. A nearby resident and a neighborhood association raised objections regarding the diner’s application for licenses permitting late-night alcohol service and music.
However, at a council hearing held at Civic Hall, restaurant owner Naki Akarsu successfully defended his case. Akarsu, who also owns La Cantina 44 on the same road, assured a panel of three local councillors that his new venue, Pintxos 44, would not create any disturbances. He emphasized his 22-year track record in Cross Gates, highlighting that neither his current restaurant nor he personally had ever caused any problems in the area. West Yorkshire Police had never reported any issues related to his businesses.
Akarsu made it clear that Pintxos 44 was not going to transform into a noisy nightclub. Instead, he described it as an elegant restaurant where patrons could enjoy high-quality food and drinks. He further explained that the venue would seldom remain open until the proposed 1.30am closing time. The late-night license, according to Akarsu, was primarily sought to provide flexibility for hosting occasional parties, wedding receptions, and serving alcohol on special occasions like New Year’s Eve. To address concerns, he stated that new customers would not be allowed entry after 10pm.
Despite these assurances, local resident Steven Thompson, who had expressed his concerns, remained worried. He acknowledged Akarsu’s promises but emphasized his fear that intoxicated customers might disturb the peace when leaving the premises. Thompson’s main worry was that the unique character of Cross Gates, which primarily revolved around being a peaceful residential area, might change over time due to the influx of late-night food and drink establishments.
During the hearing, it was revealed that Akarsu had initially applied for a license allowing operation until 2am. However, this was reduced to 1.30am upon the request of the police. No other responsible authorities opposed the granting of licenses.
In their final decision, the panel of councillors acknowledged the concerns raised by the objectors. However, they also recognized Akarsu as a responsible and well-established businessman with a positive track record. The panel concluded that Akarsu could be trusted to minimize any potential negative impact resulting from the granted licenses. Consequently, Pintxos 44 is slated to open its doors, offering a sophisticated dining experience to patrons while aiming to coexist harmoniously with the local community.