A man who denied he was running a Japanese restaurant from his home, despite neighbours’ complaints and a large illuminated sign hanging above his front door, is reportedly trading during lockdown.
Norwich City Council said enforcement officers will reopen an investigation into what is happening at Orlando Williams’ house after a reporter from the Eastern Daily Press was sold a takeaway meal.
Last year, the authority investigated the address in Earlham Road in Norwich, which features a large sign reading “Orlando’s” above the door, a phone number and a web address.
Officials reportedly took no enforcement action at the time as they found no “definitive evidence” that the house was operating as a restaurant.
The Eastern Daily Press reporter, who said she was recently sent a menu by text message, was asked to pay in cash and to pick up food from the back of the house.
She said she was given the option to eat in despite lockdown restrictions – although she chose to take her order away – and was sold alcoholic drinks as well as food.
Mr Williams, who lives at the address, previously ran a Japanese restaurant called Sakura Yakiniku in Norwich city centre and denies running a restaurant from the property.
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.”
When he was asked for comment after the reporter was sold a takeaway meal this year, he said: “I am not going to say anything. What you did was wrong.”
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 told the Eastern Daily Press: “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.”