Fireaway Pizza Gets Licence To Stay Open Until 4am

Owner tells committee drunk customers tend to prefer kebabs

Fireway Pizza on The Mall in Ealing
Fireway Pizza on The Mall in Ealing. Picture: Google Streetview


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February 1, 2023

An Ealing pizza parlour that had to “turn away” police and paramedics due to its opening hours, can now welcome customers until 4am.

Although it could previously deliver until the early hours, Fireaway Pizza on The Mall previously had to close to diners at 11pm.

The popular Ealing Broadway takeaway, which serves fast-fired stonebaked pizzas, has positive reviews on JustEat with people praising the food quality and delivery speed.

Before, only delivery drivers would be allowed inside the shop in the early hours. Manager Mustafa Joda said he regularly turns 20 customers away who want to be served inside the store after 1am.

Speaking at an Ealing Council’s licensing sub-committee on Wednesday (1 February ), he said, “We’ve noticed a lot of the time it is people like the ambulance, police and other people in services, they come in the evening and knock on the door because they see the lights on. We just have to turn them away.

“If you look online, after 1am there’s not much quality food – obviously that is subjective – but in terms of franchises that have designer food, there’s not much. We’ve had a lot of demand.”

Councillor Harbhajan Kaur Dheer and Councillor Gareth Shaw both expressed concerns that later opening hours will cause more noise and disruption for nearby residents – especially those who live above the store.

Mr Joda responded by saying, “We’ve got people living upstairs, we have quite a good relationship with them and we have not had complaints. I know sometimes there are a lot of people stood outside the McDonalds in Ealing but I assure you that will not happen here.”

The manager explained that he has rules for delivery drivers, stating that they are asked to wait in the pizza parlour and not congregate on the street. He added, “I watch my cameras when I am not in the shop. I am very strict on it.”

Ann Chapman, chair of the Ealing Civic Society, opposed the changes to the operating hours, emphasising the need for the store to close at 1am to customers to protect nearby residents. She said, “Much greater activity would be allowed at the premises, all of it outside the core hours which have been set out in the council’s licensing statement of licensing policy for a reason to protect amenities.

“If the premise is allowed to remain open every night until 4am, to collect takeaways or eat-in. That is an additional five hours of the full opening of the premises every night, with an additional two or three hours for takeaway that they don’t have now. We consider this a considerable increase of trading hours in the night time hours which does have associated potential for a disturbance at more sensitive hours of the night.”

Councillors also added concerns about drunk customers eating in the shop if the licence were extended. Mr Joda said, “Fireaway pizza is in a corner, the bars are after the station and there are a lot of shops open for them to eat and then they take the train. They seem to like kebabs more than pizza, I don’t know why maybe I should have invested in a kebab shop.

“I can’t say never, but we don’t get a lot of people who are drunk. If they do come and get the pizza, as an additional service we help them book an uber.

“If any problems happen outside, our staff are trained to defuse things. Even if it is not our customers, it is going to reflect on us because we are the shop that is open.”

Peter Conisbee, a licensing consultant, added, “I want to reiterate that the clientele they have is not your regular guys that are looking for kebab chips. it is a completely different food offering to that and that reflects in the customers.

“If there were issues with security that is something the police would have picked up on. They know the premises very well and they don’t have any concerns at all.”

Granting Fireaway Pizza permission to allow customers into the shop until 4am, councillor Councillor Rima Baaklini said, “There had been no representations from responsible authorities, most notably the police. The sub-committee agreed that it was unlikely to be an increased public nuisance in the area, particularly given the location and nature of the premises.

“It accepted that its offer of high-standard pizza was likely to attract responsible customers, like those working night shifts. The applicant has a good relationship with neighbours and neighbours had voiced support for the change.”

Megan Stanley - Local democracy reporter


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