THE owners of a new shisha bar say they want to be given a chance for the new venue to succeed in Hadleigh town centre.
Childhood friends Furdalls Khan, 25, and Iman Ali, 26, who both live in Southend, together opened the Mist Lounge in London Road two weeks ago.
They have moved to reassure people who are running nearby businesses who have raised concerns that the business will not be a nuisance and will actually be an asset to the town centre.
The shisha bar has been set up inside a tent and the business partners say they are dedicated to making the venture a success.
Mr Ali said: “We feel the criticisms we have received are very unfair, especially when we have only just launched our business and we are trying our best to make a living.
“We are not selling alcohol and it is not going to be a venue where anti-social behaviour happens or where teenagers congregate.
“We have a strict over 18’s policy and we make sure we check everyone’s ID to ensure they are of the appropriate age.
"I think there has been so much bad feeling towards the bar because it is something a bit different which is nowhere else in the area.”
Mr Ali said lots of neighbours living nearby have popped in to have a look and they have reassured them that the shisha bar is not going to be a troublesome venue.
The venue, which is in a tent, the were leasing the land where the tent for the bar has been erected and they would allow people to come in with their own food to the venue.
He added: “We have been to lots of shisha bars across London and we wanted to make our one a really relaxed place where people can just come and chill out.
“We have already got group bookings for the Christmas period, we have lost out on a lot of trade because of how negative people have been up to this point, hopefully people will see this is a positive attribute to Hadleigh.”
Castle Point Council said it was still investigating planning permission the venue needed and inquiries were on-going with its departments.
A spokesman from Castle Point Council added: “Castle Point Council’s Planning Enforcement, Environmental Health and Licensing Officers are all aware of this use.
"Inquiries from all departments are on-going and the owners are aware of the council’s investigations.
“Any evidence or concerns which any local residents may have can be forwarded to these departments, so they can be taken into account as part of these inquiries.”