CARLUCCIO'S has been granted a licence for its planned restaurant in Fenwick's department store in York and will open in late June.
The alcohol licence was granted for the business to run predominantly as a restaurant from 9am-11pm from Monday to Saturday, and 11am-10.30pm on Sundays.
City of York Council's licensing board went against police pleas that the license only be granted for alcohol to be sold ancillary to meals. Sgt Matt France, North Yorkshire Police's licensing officer, said the force wanted to stop the rise of "chameleon premises" - venues which operate as cafes during the day, but become bars later in the evening.
The problem is particularly bad in York city centre's Cumulative Impact Zone, which now includes Fenwick's site, and while Sgt France said Carluccio's was a reputable business unlikely to attract crowds of heavy drinkers, he warned that a future operator of the site could use the licence to run a more troublesome business.
But Carluccio's agent argues their business model depends on allowing customers to buy only a coffee or a glass of wine rather than a full meal, if they want.
The board granted the licence with the condition that the restaurant maintain at least 100 covers.
Carluccio's will move into the first floor of Fenwick's, replacing the current second floor Fenwick restaurant.