Fury as beloved Kirkby bistro made to cut hours

GloriaDe Piero, centre, is pictured with owners Deanna and Gary Thrall, front, and customers.
GloriaDe Piero, centre, is pictured with owners Deanna and Gary Thrall, front, and customers.

Residents in Kirkby say they are in “disbelief” after a beloved bistro which is “bettering the community” was forced to shut at 3pm.

Palm Bistro was opened by mum-of-four Deanna Thrall on Victoria Road, Kirkby, last November. It was previously the Flying Sausage.

She opened the business unaware it only had temporary planning perission to open until 9,30pm.

Now Ashfield District Council has rejected their application to open until that time permanently and said it is only allowed to open from 9am-3pm.

Grandmother Mrs Thrall, aged 63, who used to work in the environmental health department for Mansfield District Council, said she has had to cancel a sold-out Valentine’s dinner.

She said: “Financially we don’t take enough now.

“I am frustrated and angry.

“All we wanted to do was to create a community restaurant and that is what we have created, but now we can’t even feed the kids after school.”

The reason the council gave for limiting the opening hours of the bistro which seats 22 people was it was resulting in a “detrimental impact of the neighbouring residents”.

However, users of the bistro have said they are not the kind of people to be loud.

Mrs Thrall said: “It is not the kind of place to be noisy. We never dreamt this would be a problem.”

Neighbour Irene Shadwell, 64, said: “I have lived across from it for 40 years – I have never even heard them close the shutters. It is a small crowd. You get to know everyone, it is really lovely.

“The people who are against the bistro don’t even go in – they don’t know what they are missing.”

Regular customer Denise Phillips, 58, of The Paddock, said: “We are not the kind of age group which are loud – the average age range is about 50 plus.

“Not everyone wants to go to Wetherspoon’s in Kirkby, the bistro is lovely.

“I can’t believe the council stopped evenings. Valentine’s night had to be cancelled - that was such a lovely evening.”

A petition has now been started to get the opening hours extended and already has 200 signatures.

The campaign is being backed by Gloria De Piero, Ashfield MP, who said: “Palms is a lovely café with a friendly, community atmosphere and serves fantastic home-cooked food.

“They have put their hearts and souls into it, and it would be devastating for them and their loyal customers if it were forced to close.

“The last thing they or I want is for the bistro to cause any disruption for neighbouring residents, so I urge anyone who has any concerns to approach them so they can be addressed. Our community needs more places like Palms.”

‘Firms must be sensitive’

Ashfield District Council said it refused the application to let the bistro open late following nine letters of objection being received and concerns being raised by the council’s environmental health officer.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield District Council leader, speaking about the bistro, said: “We are supportive of independent businesses but they must be sensitive to surrounding residents.

“The council has been working with the owner to see if their planning approach can be regularised.

“There were clear planning limitations such as a temporary planning application when the applicant purchased the property and we have to ensure that our residents have a reasonable quality of life in their own home.

“There is currently an application with us that is under consideration and the owner has been provided with guidance as to potential approaches and the limitations of the specific property.”