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This is a nice joint!

Mike Hornby, The Liverpool Echo, 29th April 2005

LIVERPOOL’S cannabis cafe has won over local residents who were furious when the ECHO revealed its existence.

Members of the Needham Road Residents Association toured Holt Road’s Tea Cafe at the invitation of owner Gary Youds. Plans for a petition also came to nothing after Mr Youds offered his premises as a venue for community meetings.

Enid Bristow, of the residents association, said: “We were utterly amazed. It’s very nice inside and he has obviously spent a lot of money.

“Of course, it is still illegal what he is doing. He should just open a wine bar or something.

“We were offered the premises for our meetings, alongside the regular customers - I don’t think that would be appropriate. Most people now seem quite happy.”

But Kensington councillor Frank Doran said opposition remained strong.

He said: “I don’t know what has happened to the petition but I know there are many people in Kensington who are worried.

“This is not the kind of business we need and I have confidence that Mr Youds’ operation will be closed.”

The cafe remains open for business after Mr Youds’ company, the Chillin’ Rooms, appealed against the council’s closure decision to deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

It could be months before a judgement is made.

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