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Tesco's coffee chain gets alcohol license

The coffee chain Harris + Hoole which Tesco has a 49% stake in, has been given a license to sell alcohol at its stores in Sunbury, Walton and North Finchley as part of plans to open late and put on community events.

Nick Tolley, chief executive, says the motivation came from their customers who were saying it’s a pity you are closing at six o’clock at night, this would be a lovely place to have a glass of wine. They also want to have lots of community events in the shops and would keep the shops open late to do that. He said 'Having a coffee at seven or eight in the evening is the last thing people want to do, but having a glass of wine is.'

The coffee shop chain had to withdraw similar plans at a store in Richmond last year, following complaints by residents and with police in the borough arguing that the sale of alcohol at the coffee shop could attract street drinkers. Nick Tolley decided against pursuing the licence but said he laughed at the suggestion that they were going to be selling alcohol from 11am to local drunks who were then going to cause problems.