Mexican takeaway in Outwood responds to "clientele" fears after asking for booze licence

Neighbours of Mendez are worried about noise on this part of Leeds Road in Outwood.
Neighbours of Mendez are worried about noise on this part of Leeds Road in Outwood.

The owners of a new Mexican takeaway are feeling the heat from its neighbours over its plans to serve alcohol.

People living near Mendez, on Leeds Road in Outwood, are trying to stop it selling booze over fears about the "clientele" it might attract.

Mendez wants to sell alcoholic drinks, including bottled wine.

Mendez wants to sell alcoholic drinks, including bottled wine.

The takeaway has been open for around a month, though it says only 10 per cent of its orders are exchanged over the counter, with home deliveries making up the rest.

Now its bosses want permission to sell bottled alcoholic drinks and extend its closing time from 11pm until midnight.

But local residents are trying to block the plan because they believe it will add to issues with noise and litter close to their homes.

In particular, they're worried about the prospect of people leaving nearby pubs and congregating in the area.

But at a licensing committee hearing on Monday, Mendez manager Ben Robinson said this would not be the case.

He also said that the "premium" prices the food and drink was sold at would keep unwanted visitors away.

He told councillors: "Selling alcohol would be a small part of our business.

"This is just a side addition to the whole business. We wouldn’t risk our whole reputation over selling two or three bottles to someone underage. It’s just not worth it.

"There’s no other Mexican takeaway within miles of where we are. We’re offering something different to what’s already out there and we've got a five year lease so we're in this for the long-term.

"We’re not expecting trade from people coming out of the local pubs. What we do isn't really geared up for that.

"We won’t be selling Fosters or cheap lager like that."

Among the items Mendez does want to sell is a cocktail named "Sex on a Mexican beach," and beers including Desperado and Estrella.

Speaking against the application, neighbour Julie Plane said that residents' sleep could be disturbed if the takeaway opened later.

She added that although noise levels coming from Mendez in its first weeks had not been as high as people had feared, she was still logging issues with Environmental Health.

Ms Plane said: "The concern with the application, although I know they’re doing 'Challenge 25', is the fear it will attract a different sort of clientele.

"In both the local pubs, the landlords are very diligent - they don’t open past their hours. But we do get noise from people passing by.

"It’s not the deliveries that are the problem, it’s being able to buy it over the counter that we’re objecting to.

"This wouldn't stop Mr Robinson opening a bar at a later date if he wanted to, because he'd have all the licences he needed."

The committee will decide whether or not to grant the application later this week.