Manchester cafe loses licence over 'flagrant' Covid breaches

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Kate and Luc Cafe Restaurant, ManchesterImage source, Google
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The cafe in Burnage must remain closed for three months

A cafe whose owner showed a "flagrant disregard" for Covid lockdown safety rules has been stripped of its licence and must remain shut for three months.

Lucjan Domanski allowed large groups of customers to gather inside the Kate and Luc Cafe Restaurant on Burnage Lane in Manchester, a hearing was told.

There were at least 60 people in the cafe during one visit by inspectors.

Mr Domanski said he had lost nearly 90% of his income, affecting his mental health and causing "too much stress".

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Manchester City Council licensing officials found the cafe to be open as usual when they visited five times in January and February.

It should only have been operating a takeaway service, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Licensee Mr Domanski refused to accept he was breaking the rules, a licence review hearing was told on Monday.

He said he had struggled to apply for financial support for his business during the pandemic.

'Unfit'

But the council's licensing subcommittee described his behaviour as "appalling" and decided to revoke Kate and Luc's licence due to "the flagrant disregard by the premises holder for Covid regulations".

The meeting was shown bodycam footage of a visit to the cafe by GMP and Manchester council officers on 2 February. A small number of customers were inside.

Further visits found the cafe was filled with more customers, with GMP estimating that 60 to 70 people were eating and drinking there on 7 February.

Mr Domanski continued to serve customers while others began filming the incident, bodycam footage showed.

PC Alan Isherwood, of GMP's licensing team, said it was "clear that Mr Domanski is unfit to hold the licence".

A representative of Mr Domanski said he had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and that the enforcement visits had caused him distress, "impeded his actions" and provoked a "fight or flight" response.

"We tried hard with all the restrictions," said Mr Domanski. "We just couldn't do it and I gave up."

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