Mexican restaurant Little Lobo set to open new outlet in Whitley Bay

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The owners of a successful North East restaurant are set to open their fourth branch in Whitley Bay.

Popular Mexican restaurant Lobo Rojo became well-known for its restaurant on the Fish Quay in North Shields.

The success of the business has allowed them to open two so-called “Little Lobo” outlets in Tynemouth and Sandyford – and now Whitley Bay is set to become home to Tyneside’s latest taste of Mexico.

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It comes after North Tyneside Council granted permission for a variation in the premises licence for their new site on Countess Avenue, formerly the Cullercoats Coffee shop.

John Good and Robert Beveridge-Pearson outside their Little Lobo restaurant in Tynemouth. Photo: NCJ Media.John Good and Robert Beveridge-Pearson outside their Little Lobo restaurant in Tynemouth. Photo: NCJ Media.
John Good and Robert Beveridge-Pearson outside their Little Lobo restaurant in Tynemouth. Photo: NCJ Media.

The minor changes were requested to account for a change to the layout, to add external area to the scope of the licence and to add the off-licence sale of alcohol, subject to conditions.

Furthermore, the existing conditions would be amended – with the council set to publish a full list of these changes in the coming weeks. The applicants made it clear that, in all other respects, the licence would remain the same.

While there were no objections raised by the so-called responsible authorities, such as the police, local residents did raise concern about potential noise issues from the site. Whitley Bay councillor John O’Shea did raise this point at the licensing hearing on Monday.

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However, upon clarification that the licensed hours for alcohol sales would remain unchanged, he subsequently withdrew his objection. Speaking on behalf of applicants John Good and Robbie Beveridge-Pearson, agent Richard Arnot of Ward Hadaway made the case for granting the licence.

He said: “The site is already licensed and it has been for a long time. It is really important that we establish that these chaps know what they are up to, they’re experienced and they are locals.

“This is their area, and they understand it. It is not a corporation coming in from down south.

“Lobo has been in existence for quite some time. Lobo Rojo has been open on the Quayside for five years. This is the fourth premises and, being an optimist, one of many in the future.

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“They are trusted. If not we would be hearing from the responsible authorities and there would be lots to say about them – there is not.”

Mr Arnot added that the new site would be “very small” with a capacity of around 37 diners. It would provide jobs for 15 members of staff in a variety of full and part time roles.

The committee also heard that Mr Good and Mr Beveridge-Pearson had invested £240,000 on the premises, which was described as an “enormous amount of money” by Mr Arnot. He added: “They want to get it right and they are determined to have a premises that they can be proud of.”

Responding to the concerns raised by residents, Mr Arnot said there had been a “misunderstanding with what we were applying for”, adding: “We never sought to extend the hours.”

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He continued: “We never get any issues at our premises. They’re just not that sort of premises. If our premises are full of drunken people, I wouldn’t want to go and eat there.

“It is as much a commercial imperative rather than just a moral one.”

Following the committee meeting, the council confirmed that members had agreed to grant the Little Lobo application. A spokeswoman for the council said: “The Sub Committee decided to grant the variation applied for subject to a series of conditions and the removal of the additional hours in respect of New Years Eve.

“The minutes of the meeting should be on the website by the end of this week with full conditions.”

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