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Eusebi Deli wins legal battle to stay open as a cafe under coronavirus restrictions

The Glasgow business can reopen as a cafe after winning a legal battle.

Published: October 22, 2020
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Eusebi Deli in Glasgow's west end has won a legal battle to reopen as a cafe, despite the tough restrictions in the city.

Lawyers acting for the business secured an interim interdict on 19 October, which will prevent Glasgow City Council from closing the restaurant, as the premises meets the legal definition of “café”.

New restrictions on hospitality were announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on 7 October, which came into effect on 9 October.

Announcing changes to coronavirus measures in Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that indoor hospitality venues will only be allowed to operate between 6am and 6pm daily, selling food and non-alcoholic drinks only.

Outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to remain open up until 10pm and will be allowed to sell alcohol up to that time.

However, all licensed premises in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health board areas will be closed for both indoor and outdoor operations.

Cafes without a licence to sell alcohol will be allowed to open until 6pm, Nicola Sturgeon said, to counter social isolation.

That then changed to include licensed cafes, who can trade between the hours of 6am-6pm but not serve alcohol.

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These restirctions have been extended beyond the original end date of 25 October, and will now run until 6am on 2 November.

Owner Giovanna Eusebi said: “We are delighted by the decision of the court which vindicates the position we have taken from the very beginning.

"Since reopening in the summer, we have served thousands of customers in a safe and secure café and deli environment with every precaution in place. We look forward to getting back to concentrating on welcoming the people of Glasgow on that basis”.

Stephen J. McGowan, Partner and Head of Licencing for Scotland for TLT LLP added: “Acting on behalf of Eusebi Deli we secured an interim interdict on 19 October, preventing Glasgow City Council from issuing a closure order under the relevant Coronavirus regulations.

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"The court agreed with our submissions that the premises met the legal definition of “café” under the regulations, meaning they can continue to trade”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Legal proceedings are now live in relation to one premises and, for that reason, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to make any detailed comment on that case.

“However our existing advice to businesses about what does and doesn’t constitute a cafe remains unchanged.”

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken added: “I find it hard to criticise operators who are fighting for their businesses and the livelihoods of those they employ.

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“Businesses are interpreting the rules in whichever way gives them a chance to keep trading – and that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those who set the rules, or those of us in local government that have been given the task of implementing them.

“Like hundreds of businesses across the city, I am anxious to see Glasgow’s hospitality sector open for business – and our economic recovery gather pace.

“However that is only going to happen when we slow transmission of the virus.”

This news comes as leading Scottish chefs and business owners have united in a 'save our jobs' campaign - a reaction to the ongoing restrictions.

Michelin-star rated chef Tom Kitchin, James Thomson, owner of Prestonfield House and The Witchery in Edinburgh, Carina Contini, owner of restaurants overlooking Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle, and Nic Wood, owner of the Signature Pub Group say time is running out to avoid mass redundancies.

They have also raised concerns that the health and well-being of their workers is being put at risk by the latest restrictions.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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