End of Belvedere burger-joint bat­tle?

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - BULELWA PAYI

A POP­U­LAR burger out­let at the V&A Water­front is close to win­ning a 15-month bat­tle against red tape and its com­peti­tors.

The own­ers of Wood­ies had hoped to open a branch in Clare­mont and ap­plied for an op­er­at­ing li­cence for premises across from Belvedere Square.

Belvedere Square has three restau­rants which serve sit­down pa­trons and of­fers take­aways. The Belvedere Square Devel­op­ment ob­jected to Wood­ies’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

The city con­firmed the ob­jec­tion and said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been com­pleted. It was sat­is­fied with the rec­om­men­da­tion aris­ing from the process and Brett Her­ron, may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for trans­port and ur­ban devel­op­ment, said the pro­posal to be tabled was based on the fact that:

The busi­nesses was con­sis­tent with the spa­tial devel­op­ment frame­work and com­plied with the South­ern District Plan and it sup­ported eco­nomic growth.

Wood­ies would fit in with other land uses within the sur­round­ing area.

The pro­posal would not al­ter the char­ac­ter of the area and wouldn't sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact on neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

The restau­rant’s sit­down hours would have to be re­stricted to be­tween 6pm and 10pm.

The city’s ap­proval pro­posal is set to be tabled be­fore the Mu­nic­i­pal Plan­ning Tri­bunal for a de­ci­sion on Tues­day.

“As a small start-up busi­ness whose main fo­cus is to cre­ate em­ploy­ment in an al­ready tough eco­nomic cli­mate, the de­ci­sion (by the city) is most wel­come,” Wood­ies co-owner Mu­nir Hay­wood said.

The busi­ness had orig­i­nally ap­plied for a li­cence in Novem­ber 2015 with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Hay­wood said staff had been em­ployed and trained in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the restau­rant open­ing in Clare­mont.

“Con­sis­tency in a brand is very im­por­tant. The busi­ness is a South African one by South Africans, so we do take pride in what we do – every­one in­clud­ing our staff fam­ily,” he said.

“We op­er­ate in a sym­bi­otic way – with our staff and cus­tomers in mind. Our busi­ness is all about giv­ing cus­tomers good qual­ity for their hard­earned money and to im­prove the lives of our staff.”

Hay­wood said he started sell­ing burg­ers from his home in 2013.

As the de­mand for his food grew, he looked for premises to start a restau­rant. He had been joined by his sis­ter Lat­ef­fah and Faizul­lah Parker.

“Our burg­ers be­came so pop­u­lar that we reached a point where we needed to open an­other store.

“But our growth is also linked to em­pow­er­ing peo­ple, so it’s not just about us – it is about growth for other fam­i­lies,” Hay­wood said.

PIC­TURE: JA­SON BOUD

The build­ing at the in­ter­sec­tion of Keur­boom and Belvedere roads where Wood­ies, a pop­u­lar burger eatery, has ap­plied to open a branch.

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