A move to extend the hours cafes in Perth are permitted to sell alcohol could lead to a new “café culture” in the city.
The local authority’s licensing board agreed customers could enjoy an al fresco drink between 11am and 7pm, seven days a week.
It follows a trial that took place between May and October last year. Alcohol could be offered between 11am and 9pm, as long as food was also available.
Public consultation was held earlier this year on whether the extension to 9pm should be adopted or the existing policy retained.
All comments received were fully supportive of extending the permitted hours.
Councillor Henry Anderson, convener of the licensing board, said: “The trial period held in 2015 to assess the possibility of extending permitted hours for premises with pavement cafes proved to be successful.
“Together with the positive public consultation responses, the board has been happy to adopt the new supplementary policy.”
Willie White, who runs Willow’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant in St John’s Place, Perth, said he thought the new initiative is a “great idea.”
“This is a very positive move and has to be welcomed by restaurants like ourselves,” he said.
“It will allow customers to enjoy a drink outside, which is a civilised thing to do.”
Sergeant Iain Bethway, from Police Scotland’s licensing unit in Tayside, praised the move but stressed they will look at any anti-social behaviour that may occur as a result.
“We will continue to monitor incidents of anti-social behaviour, however there are no apparent issues identified at this time,” he commented.
“We would encourage people to drink alcohol responsibly and enjoy what should be a welcoming café culture.
“The police provide support and guidance to licensees and their staff, to ensure that premises are managed appropriately and in accordance with legislative requirements.”
Pavement cafes include areas licensed for consumption of alcohol that are also public streets. Beer gardens on private land are not included.