Any denizen of Chalk Farm or Camden Town will be familiar with Fogg's. It's the Phileas Fogg-themed restaurant (read multi-national cuisine) on Chalk Farm Road - the one with the plastic hot-air balloon appended to its facade. It's a lovely place for a meal. Until now, its only real failing was to induce countless replays of the theme from Willy Fogg in the brain of anyone who remembers 1990.
But now local residents are revolting by petition after the restaurant applied for a one-hour extension to its license on Friday and Saturday nights. Fogg's backs on to a residential area and locals claim the chatter and revelry are so loud that they can't hear their own televisions.
The restaurant cries foul, and insists that its clientèle are very well behaved. "The noise is nowhere near as bad as they are saying," co-owner Joy Brigg told the Camden Gazette. "We are not a pub, we are not a bar, we are a restaurant. We don't attract pub people." As one of the nearest licensed places to Proud, that's probably not quite true (indeed, we've been inside Fogg's as part of a stag do). But we suspect most of the noise does indeed come from well-behaved diners. Fogg's is (justifiably) popular and customers are intimately packed into the limited space. The council will now have to decide whether to support a small number of residents who choose to live near the centre of Camden Town, or a thriving restaurant in a struggling stretch of high street. Our solution: the restaurant gets its extension if the owners can travel round the world (without aeroplane) in 80 days.