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Food exclusive: Lunya flouts ban on barbecue by Liverpool ONE

No smoke without ire as owner declares: 'public places are for the people'

Written by . Published on March 12th 2013.

Food exclusive: Lunya flouts ban on barbecue by Liverpool ONE

UPDATE: Agreement has been reached with Liverpool ONE and Liverpool City Council and the Calcotada will take place this Sunday, March 24.

LIVERPOOL restaurant and deli Lunya says a planned Spanish-themed food event will go ahead this Sunday - despite it being “absolutely forbidden” on health and safety grounds by landlords Liverpool ONE.

Last year's Calçotada pavement barbecue attracted crowds of passers-by and tourists to the restaurant on College Lane.

Lunya owner Peter Kinsella says the street is in “desperate need of events like this” with the lowest footfall of shoppers on the retail shopping estate.

A Calçotada is a Catalan food festival that takes place in streets all over Spain, in March. It celebrates the calçot, which is similar to a leek or a spring onion.

Heaps of them are tipped onto a charcoal grill until the outer skins are charred. Then they are presented in newspaper with a dipping sauce.

Calcotada At Lunya Gets Thumbs Up From Spanish Passers-ByCalçotada At Lunya gets thumbs up from Spanish passers-by

Last year's event – the first UK Calçotada outside London - was praised by shoppers who were handed the free calçots on the streets. A group of Spanish tourists even stopped to give the spectacle a round of applause, while Liverpool One staff who attended were keen to show their approval, Mr Kinsella says.

But now officials at the Grosvenor-owned retail estate (the largest in Europe) say smoke from last year's barbecue gave rise to “numerous complaints” from neighbouring stores and residents who were “clearly affected by it”.

In a letter to Lunya owner Peter Kinsella they say that because of this – and health and safety fears - they cannot allow it to go ahead.


Mr Kinsella, who runs several Catalunyan-themed events at the restaurant throughout the year, says Lunya received not a single complaints before, during or after last year's Calcotada, and he is convinced that nobody complained to Liverpool ONE either.

“I'm baffled as to why they've taken this line, to be honest,” he told Liverpool Confidential. “A calcot contains no fat, so for a start they don't give off smoke.

“If there had have been any complaints about the barbecue, they would have told us straight away.  They wouldn't wait a whole year."

“Last year, one of their redcoats told us to move a display on similar grounds and I tweeted, in Lunya's twitter account, that it was 'health and safety gone mad'. Another warden came in almost immediately and asked us to take the tweet down,” he says.

Mr Kinsella was keen to stress, however, that normally Lunya has an excellent relationship with its landlord and he hoped the present dispute would not affect that.

But the row once again raises the debate on who owns the streets. 


Mr Kinsella claims he knows his onions where Liverpool ONE's powers begin and ends, saying the pavement licence Lunya holds for events is with Liverpool City Council and not with Liverpool ONE.

“Their ownership of the street ends at Flannels,” he said. “So although they can tell us about health and safety inside our premises, they have no jurisdiction over what we do outside.

Peter Kinsella - A Man Who Knows His Onions Where Street Regualtion Is ConcernedPeter Kinsella, left, says the feast will go on

“There is no way we aren't going ahead with this,” he insisted. “We don't think they have the right to tell us what we can do on our terrace as long it is legal and ethical."

He went on: “Calçots come from a town in northern Spain called Valls. We have enough coming over to Liverpool from there, later this week, to feed 1,000 people – and feed 1,000 people we will.

“Public places are for the people.  We think this sort of event helps prevent the Liverpool One space being too corporate, and helps promote it as a place for independent businesses."

In a statement, Liverpool One said: “We are always open to ideas from Liverpool ONE retailers that will support their businesses, enliven the streets and enhance the experience for visitors.

“However, on this occasion the proposed barbecue poses health and safety implications for shoppers in the street outside Lunya. The safety of our shoppers is of paramount importance to us and it has been necessary to decline requests for barbecues from other restaurants in the past due to health and safety concerns.

“We also have a duty to look after the interests of all of our retailers. The obvious effect of smoke in neighbouring clothing stores and the resulting damage to garments is potentially harmful to other businesses.

“We love the enterprising attitude that Lunya has and we look forward to supporting them with future events.”

2012's Calçotada was the first in the north west. It remains to be seen if it will also be the last.

*Calçotada, Lunya, College Lane, Sunday March 17, noon-5pm, maybe.

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36 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 12th 2013.

What about all the people living in One Park West who complain about the screams from the fairground every year. Don't see that being banned.

AnonymousMarch 12th 2013.

Health and safety gone mad. Go, go Lunya!

Ian TomlinsonMarch 12th 2013.

Go for it Peter! Originality needs encouraging not suffocating. Lunya is truly one of Liverpool's gems.

Phil CainMarch 12th 2013.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! I'm with Lunya on this. Don't remember any H&S issues with Food stalls etc. at Xmas on Paradise St

5 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyMarch 12th 2013.

There are no health and safety issues, it is probably some middle raking jobs worth making up a rule and then looking for an excuse brings H&S into ill repute, though possibly PR stunt.

Paul PaulsMarch 12th 2013.

What planet do you occupy, John Bradley? You gullibly swallow everything Peel Holdings says it might do in 40 years as fact and shoot anyone down in flames who dares to question it. Yet when we see an article with two sets of statements presented in a clear-cut argument, you call it a publicity stunt. I do hope you don't ever get called onto a jury

John BradleyMarch 12th 2013.

I occupy Earth a planet considerably larger than the microscopic world you in habit. There is no clear cut argument just a statement from an unnamed member of L1 staff, with no idea what position they hold or whether it has been sanctioned by senior management or a health and safety officer.
I also raised the possibility that it is a PR stunt, simply because organisation, like L1, have been known to stir things as a means of getting free PR. I did not assert in anyway that it was a PR stunt. Though that is I imagine something beyond your ken, now crawl of back to your microscopic world.

paul paulsMarch 12th 2013.


New Pauls PleaseMarch 18th 2013.

New Pauls Please

AnonymousMarch 12th 2013.

City centres and town centres are supposed to be the gathering place for the citizens. Liverpool G(one) Mad have as good as stolen ownership of our streets, aided and abetted by the city council. Every one of us enters Liverpool One at Grosvenor's invitation, it is heavily guarded by the Duke of Westminster's own Irregulars, ready to intervene when their own laws are broken. It's one of the reasons I try as much as possible to give the Dukedom of Paradise Street a miss.

Paul WardMarch 12th 2013.

Perhaps if Lunya charged too much for the product so nobody bought it, the landlords would be happier. It's an odd business model but I didn't inherit millions and a title so what do I know?

SaladDazeMarch 12th 2013.

Agree with that last Anonymous (as opposed to some of the other Anonymities who, IMHO, talk rubbish and you don't know who to complain to).

City of Radicals colonised by The Grosvenors who trace their descent from Gilbert le Grosveneur, nephew of Hugh d’Avranches. Nicknamed Lupus (Latin for wolf) Hugh was a nephew of William the Conqueror, and was to become the first in a line of seven Norman Earls of Chester and known in Wales as "that shit" - Hugh due to his gluttony became so fat that he could hardly walk, earning him the nickname of le Gros (the Fat). He would also earn the nickname Lupus (Wolf) for his savage ferocity against the Welsh.

And Lunya think they've got a problem?

AnonymousMarch 12th 2013.

Just shows there's really no such thing as bad publicity.

If the service at the BBQ is anything like as shambolic as it is in the restauarant, the bloody thing will have gone out by the time the first punters get their onions. Highly over rated venue, with a culture that seems to encourage staff to run round like Manuel on speed, but actually get very little done

Salthouse knocks it into a cocked hat

Andy MeliaMarch 12th 2013.

Just remember The Gormleys...

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 12th 2013.

You make a great point. Most of Lunya's waiting staff have as much animation as them, and about as much go in them.

RamseyMarch 18th 2013.

That's certainly never been our experience - we've always found the Lunya staff very friendly and attentive.

RamseyMarch 18th 2013.

I do wonder how the Lunya staff can both "run round like Manuel on speed" and yet "have as much animation as them, and about as much go in them" - or have we two different posters who don't have the courage to put their names to their criticisms?

RamseyMarch 18th 2013.

Whoops! That comment should have read

I do wonder how the Lunya staff can both "run round like Manuel on speed" and yet "have as much animation as them, and about as much go in them" as the Gormley statues - or have we two different posters who don't have the courage to put their names to their criticisms?

Joe MorrisMarch 12th 2013.

Listening to the comments on here - firstly Lunya and Peter Kinsella are a brilliant restaurant and manager - firmly with them on this event. Great service and food there - Anonymous you are talking out of your trumpet! Secondly, L1 may be the flagship shopping centre in Liverpool but visted by plenty of wannabees, fake tan brigade and those from a cultural vacuum. Lunya show the real people of Liverpool some proper culture for gods sake!

AnonymousMarch 13th 2013.

Such snobbery about L1, some of you must stand on the overhead walkways and look down upon the commoners from your lofty position of knowledge. And then you blow it by bigging up a Catalan diner run by a Wirralian!!!!

So authentic I nearly fell off my gold trimmed computer throne

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 13th 2013.

Who is the snob here????

AnonymousApril 7th 2014.

It isn't "L1" it is 'Liverpool One'; L1 is a postal district in Liverpool.

AnonymousApril 7th 2014.

It isn't a "diner"; I am a diner. Lunya is a restaurant-bistro.

AnonymousMarch 13th 2013.

Well I have never been to Lunya and I am not sure if I would want one of those onion thingies, so I'll keep out of this. If they want to barbecue the Grosvenors though, I will come and cheer and stick a fork in to their fat rumps.

Jonathan WalkerMarch 14th 2013.

What I think is needed is a spontaneous celebration of street culture involving a platoon of buskers...

Who owns the streets?

The BID are evil overlords....

Privitisation of public space...

Down with Peel holdings

Etc etc etc

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 18th 2013.

In Liverpool One?

Please try it! It will give the rest of us some peace, at least until the Liverpool One bailiffs pick you all up and throw you all out!

Alex KingMarch 17th 2013.

I sent the link for this article to the HSE and got this response:

Dear Alex,

Thank you for contacting the Myth Busters Challenge Panel regarding the banning of barbeques in public places.

HSE can confirm that:

There is no Occupational Health and Safety Legislation that prohibits the use of barbeques outdoors.
 As you will be aware barbeques are used widely throughout the country in many different settings.
 With sensible planning and a few common-sense precautions there is no reason why a barbeque cannot be used in the street outside a restaurant.
 If there is another reason why the company wish to prevent the activity from going ahead they should say what it is, rather than using Health and Safety as an excuse.
 Health and Safety should not be used as a blanket reason to prohibit activities. In most cases, there are simple ways to minimise risk, that don’t result in events being cancelled or activities being prohibited.

I hope you find this information helpful.


Kate Haire
Myth Busters Challenge Panel Secretariat




Maybe someone should let Lunya know :)

Fiery JackMarch 18th 2013.

Hear hear!

(Though it it does not inspire confidence that they cannot spell 'barbecue' correctly.)

If barbecues were forbidden in public places why do so many picnic sites have brick barbecue enclosures for picnickers to use?

The Peacock on Seel Street had barbecues every Friday last summer.

This is plainly a rule made by private landlords 'Liverpool One' as obviously neither Health and Safety Executive nor the Liverpool City Council have a problem with it.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
RamseyMarch 18th 2013.

To be fair, either "barbecue" or "barbeque" is correct.

OEDMarch 18th 2013.

Barbeque is never correct

Lord StreetMarch 18th 2013.

This is not a scally barbecue – which compulsorily involves the incineration of big lumps of cheap meat, creates clouds of smoke and makes the clothes of passers-by stink of burnt fat – these are VEGETABLES completely without fat.

“I'm baffled as to why they've taken this line, to be honest,” [Mr. Kinsella] told Liverpool Confidential. “A calçot contains no fat, so for a start they don't give off smoke."

So there it is.

AnonymousMarch 25th 2013.

There is an issue with smoke getting into neighbouring clothes shops.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 7th 2014.

There are no neighbouring clothes shops.

AnonymousApril 9th 2013.

Anything that drives footfall up that street is a good thing. Onitsuka Tiger closed down due to the bad footfall and others will follow if L1 don't so something about it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Dan DeeApril 7th 2014.

Onitsuka Tiger closed because it sold only pumps for P.E. rather than the sort of upmarket wares one might have expected in this shopping area. If you want 'footfall' you need to sell something attractive to get customers coming in.

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