U.S. markets closed

Coronavirus: Man denies operating Japanese restaurant from home during lockdown despite large advertising sign above property door

Matt Mathers
Orlando Williams denies running a Japanese restaurant from his home

A man has denied running a Japanese restaurant from his home despite neighbours’ complaints and what appears to be a large advertising sign above the door of the property.

Norwich City Council said it will open an investigation after the restaurant reportedly sold takeaways during lockdown.

Council enforcement officers had investigated the address in Earlham Road last year but found no “definitive evidence” that the house was operating a restaurant – despite a large sign reading “Orlando’s” above the door of the house.

The sign also includes a landline and mobile phone number as well as the website address sakura-norwich.co.uk.

The owner of the property, Orlando Williams, previously ran a Japanese restaurant called Sakura Yakiniku in Norwich city centre.

A reporter for the Norwich paper Easter Daily Press (EDP) said she was sent a takeaway menu by text and was able to buy a takeaway and alcohol during the pandemic.

Despite lockdown restrictions, she was also allegedly offered the opportunity to eat in at the property but declined.

Mr Williams denies any wrongdoing. He told EDP: “I am not going to say anything. What you did was wrong.”

Asked about the sign last year, Mr Williams reportedly told the local newspaper: “All I do, I have my name on my house.

“There is no restaurant there.”

The council has previously approved an application for the property to be used as a bed and breakfast but such approval does not allow the business to serve alcohol or operate as a restaurant.

The Facebook page for Sakura Yakiniku announced that the restaurant had reopened at the Earlham Road address in October 2018 after a “temporary” closure in 2015.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: “This is the first report the council has received concerning allegations that takeaway food and drink items were purchased and in-house dining was offered.

“Council officers will look into this issue in terms of what is and isn’t permitted activity for this business and we’ll be in touch directly with Mr Williams about this.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

Read more

Police refuse to review coronavirus fines after Cummings case