A new bistro café that will sell alcoholic cocktails at a former kebab shop is set to open.

LAF bistro currently has a sign put up by the shutters at the Woody Grill in High Road, Willesden Green, after the kebab restaurant closed its doors earlier this year.

Other Woody Grills have made their way to fame after the Camden Road branch was a finalist in the British Kebab Awards and the Kilburn High Road was shortlisted in the first ever Turkish Restaurant and Takeaway Awards (TURTA).

The LAF was granted an alcohol and entertainment licence on November 9, 2023, with the ability to supply alcohol every day from 11am to 10.30pm.

The venue itself will open from 7am and close at 11pm.

On Instagram, the bistro says it is “coming soon”, teasing “breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, cocktail and wine”.

Plans show tables to serve around 50 customers on the ground floor, with a kitchen, storage and toilets on the basement floor.

Willesden High Road sits in one of Brent’s many Cumulative Impact Zones (CIZ), which were introduced to combat the most problematic areas of the borough caused by alcohol and street drinking.

Both the Metropolitan Police and Brent Council’s licensing officers had originally registered their concerns with the alcohol plan before its approval, however both have since withdrawn them after applicant Yavuz Ince agreed to a “sensible list of conditions” to mitigate against the issues in line with the CIZ.

The applicant’s agent, Dilek Alagoz, wrote to the police and licensing officers to confirm that he accepts the conditions, which include installing CCTV, an intruder alarm with a panic button, a ‘Challenge 25’ policy, only serving alcohol with a “substantial meal” and when seated, and not offering delivery or takeaway.

But residents have reacted with ‘shock and disappointment’ to the application, suggesting that there are already lots of premises on High Road that sell alcohol  and opening another will make the situation even worse. In a document submitted to the council, one said: “I am old and unwell and I need to rest. We do not need another place to serve alcohol, this is ruining our streets.”

Ms Alagoz does “not think the objections are justifiable” and believes premises would have no cumulative impact on the area. She said the High Road is a “nice area” with no problems with street drinkers and alcoholics.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “If The LAF would be operating as an off-licence market, I would consider the concerns raised by locals and how an off-licence market would affect street drinking and noise issues if there is a real problem at the location.”

She added: “However, The LAF will be a nice dining cafe-bistro. An alcoholic person would not choose a cafe-bistro for binge drinking.

"Alcohol will not be sold out as take-away, and of course every sensible person refuses to sell alcohol to those who are already drunk.”