The licensed Newland Avenue steakhouse was ‘never very busy’ and had ‘more staff than customers’


Neighbors at the Newland Avenue steakhouse, which suddenly closed amid a licensing review, said the restaurant was never very busy.

The future of La Cantina Steakhouse hangs in the balance after Humberside Police asked Hull City Council to review its business license. A notice has been slapped on the front of the now closed restaurant.

In April, a man was injured after being assaulted in the restaurant. Two men have been charged in connection with the incident, including the registered owner of La Cantina on Companies House, who pleaded guilty in court to fighting and received a community order.

Read more: Newland Avenue steakhouse implicated in ‘serious crime and disorder’, police say as shutters fall

The expedited notice, posted on the restaurant’s shutters, relates to the review of La Cantina’s license and states the grounds for the review: “That in the opinion of Humberside Police the premises are involved in the both in serious crimes and in serious disturbances.” Representations concerning the permit review application are open from May 3 to May 17.

On the evening of Friday April 22, four police vehicles and an emergency ambulance attended La Cantina Steakhouse. For a short time, traffic was also redirected away from Newland Avenue. The Argentinian-inspired steakhouse remained closed after the incident ended, with a police officer standing guard.

Police outside La Cantina restaurant after the serious incident in April

A Humberside Police spokeswoman later confirmed one man was injured and two men have been charged: “Two men have been charged after a man was allegedly assaulted in Hull last week. Marco Nyengele, 31, of Melville Street, Hull has been charged with grievous bodily harm and disturbing the public order.

“Ali Ben Ali, 42, of Clarendon Street, Hull has been charged with disturbing the public order. Both men were remanded in custody and appeared at Hull Magistrates’ Court on Monday April 25.

“We were called shortly before 8pm on Friday April 22 with reports that a man had been injured after being assaulted at a business on Newland Avenue in Hull.”

Mr Ben Ali pleaded guilty to brawling in court and was given a community order of 150 hours of unpaid work. On Companies House, Ali Ben Ali is listed as the only person from La Cantina Steakhouse Limited. The company’s account confirmation statement is also listed as one month overdue.

Marco Nyengele was released on bail by Hull Magistrates’ Court and is due to appear in Hull Crown Court on May 23, charged with affray and intentional injury under Section 18.

A male member of staff at another business on Newland Avenue thought the premises would be "probably broke very quickly" if La Cantina does not reopen.
A male member of staff at another Newland Avenue business said the premises would “probably be recovered very quickly” if La Cantina does not reopen.

Hull Live spoke to local business workers and Newland Avenue residents following the news. The steakhouse opened a few months ago. It was incorporated into Companies House on March 26, 2021, a business license application made on November 19, and the restaurant’s Facebook page created in January 2022.

“It only opened a few months ago,” said a staff member from another Newland Avenue business. “There is a lovely setting, beautiful windows and chandeliers, the atmosphere is beautiful. But it was not a busy place, I think it really needed more time. I saw three or at most four tables filled at any time when I walked past.”

A resident student was only vaguely aware of the April incident and had not seen the permit review notice. They had yet to visit the steakhouse themselves, but said before shrugging, “I thought it was fun and maybe taking my parents on their visit, but now…” .

Two other Newland Avenue residents were unaware of recent developments at the restaurant, but had also not visited the venue themselves. A male member of staff at a nearby cafe was aware of its closure, but not of the apparent circumstances that prompted it. When asked if he had visited it himself and how many steps he had ever seen inside, he replied: “No, I didn’t. It looked good , but I don’t really know, it hasn’t been open long, maybe it’s been over two months.”

According to a man from another business on Newland Avenue, the owners had invested a considerable amount of time in transforming the steakhouse venue before it opened. “They had been doing it for ages, about seven months.

“They were never very busy. I always saw them come in with wine, then later saw more staff than customers in the restaurant.” He added that he was not entirely surprised that it looked like the steakhouse would be closed for good. He did, however, sound an optimistic note that the premises will fill up quickly, if La Cantina’s days there are indeed over.

“Business comes and goes here quite a bit. Now that it’s a restaurant, it’s probably going to be taken over very quickly. It’s a beautiful building and it’s really spectacular inside, really classy.”

La Cantina Steakhouse’s license review application is expected to go before a Hull City Council licensing sub-committee in the future.

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