AN empty delicatessen in Leigh Broadway could be transformed into a late-night venue with live performances and music until the early hours.

A licensing application for 18 Leigh Broadway has been submitted to Southend Council for the former site of the Gourmet Deli Co, which closed in 2023.

The building is between Jon Sturgeon hairdressing and Greetings, a chocolate shop in Leigh Broadway, and close to Hippo’s Café.

The application, for “51 Broadway”, is for the sale of alcohol from Thursday to Sunday between 5pm and 11pm, expanded to 7am to 12.30am for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

A licence for live music and recorded music has also been requested, from 7am to 12.30am on Friday and Saturday.

Leigh Lib Dem councillor, Carole Mulroney, welcomed another new business coming to the area but admitted the site is very small.

“It’s a small venue and if you took the deli counter out, there may be space but really, the main issue is going to be comments from residents as it is quite close to East Street, so it is surrounded by residential areas,” she said.

“If it is just a bar, there could be concerns from people. If there is no food, then people would just be drinking and that could lead to issues.

“There is also a proximity to the car parks, which if people were leaving late, could cause issues with people being disturbed.”

Ms Mulroney added that the whole Broadway is “virtually cafes” and noted that many people could question the need for another conventional bar or café in the Broadway.

She said: “It doesn’t look like a restaurant or a café, the whole Broadway is virtually cafes and there is a massive surplus of them.

“From a general point of view, do we need another bar or café or somewhere to eat down here?

“It’s in an area with a lot of food places as well, like Hippos, and across the road there is even more food.”

The new bar could join the likes of Bocca Leigh, The Estuary and Magic Monkey, which are all successful bars on the Broadway.