Muslim Anger at Bid to Serve Drink Outside

Glasgow Evening Times, June 7

Muslim charities have tried to stop an Italian restaurant serving drink on a terrace, claiming it is offensive to Glasgow’s Asian community.

Gambrino Pizzeria in Kelvinbridge wants to use the pavement outside its premises as an eating and drinking area and has applied to Glasgow City Council for permission.

However, the proposals for eight tables and 16 seats has infuriated the local Asian community who say drinking alcohol outdoors is “offensive”.

Two Muslim charities, UK Islamic Mission, based at the Islamic Mosque in Carrington Street, and Noah’s Ark/ Radio Ramadhan in Arlington Street, formally objected to the Great Western Road restaurant’s seating plans.

Javeed Gill, secretary of the UK Islamic Mission, said: “This area is the second largest area for Muslims in the city and we look after 1500 young people and provide activities for them.

“We’ve no objection if it is being done inside but selling alcohol on the footpath is a temptation to our young people.”

Mr Gill said concerns about the increasing number of outside drinking premises had been raised in the mosque.

Today, despite the protest, council officials are recommending the application be passed.

The restaurant has street tables but as yet it has no permission to sell alcohol or provide a table service.

A number of city bars and restaurants serve alcohol outside and more are set to apply to as the ban on smoking in public places is due to begin next April.

Gambrino owner Ken Graham said: “You do get objections to this sort of application, quite often from church groups or charities.

“However, it seems strange to us as we don’t have a mosque on our doorstep, but everybody is entitled to their opinion.”

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