‘De facto pub’ operating with no licence or planning permission in Romford applies for right to sell alcohol

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 August 2017

The Tropoja Cafe in Romford

The Tropoja Cafe in Romford


A Romford cafe that officers say has been operating as “a de facto pub” illegally is applying to Havering Council to be able to sell alcohol.

The Tropoja Cafe & Bar in Victoria Road has applied for a licence to sell beers and spirits between the hours of 10am and 11pm Monday-Saturday, and 10am-9pm on Sundays.

But when the council received the application, a number of odd aspects began to ring alarm bells.

Paul Jones, a Havering Council licensing officer, received a complaint that the premises was already acting as a bar on July 4, just one day after the official licence application had been received by the council.

Mr Jones also noted that the application for a licence had been unusual, as it was submitted by email and not via the usual method on the website, and that no reference had originally been made to the £190 licence fee.

On the day he visited, a day after the licence application was received, he noted: “The premises appeared for all intents and purposes to be able to operate as a fully functioning bar.”

Despite having no licence or planning permission, the cafe had chairs and tables for members of the public, along with a fully stocked bar and a pool table.

Mr Jones also pointed out that, although Tropoja was listed as a cafe and bar, there was no kitchen installed in the building.

When quizzed about the availability of alcohol at the premises before it had a licence, the owner, Adil Haziri, claimed the fully stocked fridge, which had offered a wide range of beers and other soft drinks, was only there “for personal use”.

Moeen Anwar, an intermediary between the council and Mr Haziri, who would also be the designated premises supervisor should the cafe get a licence, told officers Mr Haziri had 15 years of experience running pubs in Redbridge and Barking.

He added: “No alcohol has been sold to any members of the public. The place is solely in the use of car wash staff [who operate a business behind the building] and Mr Haziri’s family members.

“Sometimes they have a drink there, and have a game of pool behind closed doors.”

He also claimed Mr Haziri had held a party for his son’s birthday at the premises, and that the alcohol spotted by officers on July 4 was left over from that event.

Mr Anwar’s correspondence with the council ends: “I have advised Mr Haziri to remove all the alcohol from the premises and stop using the premises for any kind of alcoholic activities even for personal consumption.”

But Mr Jones was sceptical of the fact that the council could only contact Mr Haziri, the actual property owner, by email, and instead had to go through Mr Anwar on all matters.

Further alarm bells were rung when officers began investigating Mr Anwar’s claim that Mr Haziri had 15 years’ experience in the business.

Mr Jones added: “We might reasonably query this assertion as, by Mr Anwar’s admission, Mr Haziri has yet to obtain a personal licence in the 12 years the 2003 Licensing Act has been in force.”

Further doubts were cast on the owner’s claimed experience when an examination of the documents provided with his application showed that, despite claiming to have run bars in London for 15 years, he had not been legally entitled to live or work in the UK until May 2016.

The council’s report concluded: “It is not entirely clear who is running the business which is of great concern given its intended use as a de facto pub.”

The Metropolitan Police also filed an official objection.

They claimed that if Tropoja Cafe began acting as a bar they would have concerns that the owners did not understand their responsibilities to prevent crime and disorder and public nuisance.

Havering Council’s licensing sub-committee is due to discuss the application at a meeting on August 22.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

I am sure there are a huge amount of massively relieved 18-year-olds breathing out massive sighs of relief at the realisation that they passed their A-levels.

Yesterday, 17:00

Think you know what is going on in your area?

Yesterday, 15:02

The friends and family of three-year-old Isla Caton - who has a rare form of cancer - held a special early birthday party for her before she leaves to go for specialist treatment in Barcelona.

Yesterday, 14:15

A popular tea shop organised a special celebration for their first anniversary in Hornchurch.

Yesterday, 11:48

A community that has been left “disappointed” after the decision to build on a contentious open space by their homes was given the green light.

Yesterday, 09:33

Police are trying to find Rachael Joseph who has been missing since yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, 08:47

A knife-wielding thug who carried out a string of violent robberies in Havering and a burglary in Ilford is due to be sentenced today (August 17).


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now