Licence chiefs give tapas bar hee-haw as Obstinate Mule’s ‘cheek’ criticised in latest application

La Mula Obstinata ' 'the Obstinate Mule' ' has lost its bid to add to its licence. Picture: Toby Williams
La Mula Obstinata ' 'the Obstinate Mule' ' has lost its bid to add to its licence. Picture: Toby Williams
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BOSSES at a tapas restaurant in Leith have been told off for their “cheek” after asking for changes to their licence despite being branded “neighbours from hell”.

La Mula Obstinada in Queen Charlotte Street was in front of the city’s licensing board for the second time in as many months after applying to add live performances to its licence and to permit children to remain until closing time.

However, resident Alyson Macdonald complained to the board at the recent meeting about late-night noise from the restaurant, and claimed there was a smell of “rotting mice corpses” from the basement.

Councillor Chas Booth said the restaurant should be closed down on the basis of what the board had heard.

He said: “I think you have got a real cheek coming here to ask for a relaxation in the licence.”

The restaurant had its alcohol licence suspended at the end of October for two months, after the house guitarist assaulted one of the licensing officers called out following reports that drunken revellers were enjoying a “lock-in”.
On November 8, police went to the restaurant after a call from Ms Macdonald, 29, who said she was unable to enter her flat because a dog belonging to one of the restaurant staff was locked in the communal stair, “growling and barking”.

Ms Macdonald, who lives two floors above the restaurant, told the board members: “We have had horrific problems with the hygiene on the premises. The council have had environmental health out and they say the smell is being caused by rotting mice corpses in the basement.”

However, during the hearing, Alistair Macdonald, lawyer for the La Mula Obstinada, said what the restaurant was asking should not be contentious.

He said the dog belonged to a member of staff and that it was nothing to do with the premises manager.

The request for variation in the licence was refused.

After the hearing, Alex Moreno, manager at La Mula Obstinada, disputed the mice corpse claims and said he planned to meet with Ms Macdonald to discuss the issues.

He added that the key to the restaurant had been removed from a member of staff who, he said, had been causing many of the problems.