A BID to allow all customers at a “well-run” seaside bistro the chance to enjoy an early glass of champagne or a Bloody Mary with their breakfast is being opposed by Police Scotland and NHS Lothian.

Owners of Signals Bistro in North Berwick are applying for an extension to their licence to allow the venue to serve alcoholic drinks to walk-in customers from 9am instead of the current 11am serving time.

The Quality Street bistro, which also has 11 guest rooms, says that while residents and their guests in the B&B side of the business are able to start their morning with a champagne breakfast, customers who come in off the street for the same meal cannot.

They said the discrepancy in the service offered had been commented on by some customers.

However Police Scotland have opposed the move, suggesting that the bistro should serve its B&B guests and day customers in separate rooms to avoid any possible conflict.

In applying for the early drinking hours licence, Signals highlighted that “breakfast restaurants” in Edinburgh, where a similar extension had been granted, were proving a success.

Their application to East Lothian licensing board said: “When outside trade comes into the restaurant and see others [residents and their guests] consuming alcohol  they want to have that option as well. This would be in the form of a champagne breakfast or a breakfast drink,  eg a Bloody Mary.

“We would like to have the option of offering all our customers alcohol from 9am.

“This works in City of Edinburgh as many cafes/restaurants offer this service.

“Breakfast are getting more and more popular in the hospitality trade and we feel we need to ‘up the standard’ and try to compete with other businesses within Edinburgh.”

Police Scotland said in their submission to the licensing board that an extended early licence  for the bistro would allow it to serve alcohol for more than the Scottish Government recommended maximum of 14 hours in any given day.

The business wants its ‘on sale’ hours to begin at 9am, seven days a week – and able to sell alcohol until midnight on Sundays.

In a letter to East Lothian Licensing Board,  Iain Livingstone, the Chief Constable of Police Scotland, said: ” If the board was minded to grant this application it would set a precedent for East Lothian, one which we would not wish to encourage.

“It has long since been common knowledge that residential guests within a premises have exceptions when it comes to the consumption of alcohol.

“Other premises manage this by having residential guests dining in a separate area/room.”

Rudi Fruzynski, East Lothian Council’s licensing standards officer,  made no objections to the application, describing Signals as a “small, well-run hotel”.

“I can confirm that no complaints or licensing concerns have come to light since Mr [Sean] McCashey took over the premises in December 2013.”

While Mr Fruzynski acknowledged that the early drinking hours were inconsistent with Scottish Government recommendations, he said the applicant was entitled to apply for hours he felt were in his business interests.

However, NHS Lothian has also objected to the application.

Its submission said: “We feel it is counter to the licensing objective of protecting and improving public health to promote the consumption of alcohol at breakfast by granting this application for earlier hours against the licensing policy.

“We are also concerned that granting this application would set a precedent for other applications that the licensinig board may then find more difficult to justify refusing.”

North Berwick Community Council say they have no objection to the proposal.

Councillors on East Lothian Licensing Board are due to rule on the application on Thursday, April 25 at a meeting in Haddington.