Customers face losing thousands of pounds after licence suspension closes Wembley restaurant

Alisan restaurant owner Akbar Lakhani has apologised to angry customers

Alisan restaurant owner Akbar Lakhani has apologised to angry customers - Credit: Archant

Customers who have booked events at a restaurant in Wembley could face a financial nightmare following the suspension of its licence.

Last week the Times revealed Alisan in Engineer’s Way, closed their doors after Brent Council revoked their licence following a series of violent crimes on its premises including an attempted murder.

A decision on whether to strip it of its licence permanently will be made on April 27.

However, a number of customers including Vasile, who declined to give his surname, have contacted the Times to say they have been left stranded and out of pocket by its sudden closure.

Vasile said he has paid a £1,000 deposit to reserve the venue for his two-month-old daughter’s christening party on April 25 and has been unable to contact the venue’s owner in the last week.

He said: “I tried to speak with the manager, I’ve emailed and called but I haven’t spoken to anyone. I have only one week to go and just really want my money back so I can book another place.

“There are a lot of people who are looking to speak to him.”

Most Read

The restaurant’s sudden closure has also had an effect on Vasile’s 80 relatives who have booked flights from Romania to attend the event.

So far the Times has learned that 10 events due to take place since March 30 have been cancelled without notice, and many more clients who put down deposits for more than 20 functions have voiced frustration at not being able to speak to the restaurant’s management despite repeated calls, texts and emails.

The frustrated customers face losing up to £6,000 each on cancellation fees for DJ’s, food and entertainment for wedding and birthday parties.

One customer, Ionut Brumia, 25, booked the venue for his wedding celebrations on July 11 with a £1,500 deposit and has been struggling to find an alternative venue to accommodate his one hundred guests.

Mr Brumia said: “I don’t know what to do, I have everything booked, the music which costs £1000, special Romanian food, everything.We have invited a lot of people and it panics me.”

Mr Brumia, a father of one, said he and his family were concerned about the safety of the venue following a string of violent incidents on the premises in the past month.

“I don’t think it’s a safe place any more, but what can I do? He says I will get my money back but I don’t believe him. He should pick up the phone.”

Businessman Akbar Lakhani, the venue’s owner, blamed the closure on a dispute with his landlord and said he would try and help customers find a new location.

He added: “I am truly, truly, truly sorry.

It’s been a really difficult time and very traumatic. I’m going to face this head on and ensure nobody suffers as a result. I will try to relocate events where possible.

“I am currently in discussion with my lawyers and I am hoping that I can repay all of the deposits but I can’t guarantee anything at the moment. I will now contact as many people as I can directly and I really don’t want anybody to be left out of pocket.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter