Murder restaurant’s liquor license application rejected again

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter 

The cousin of a man stabbed to death in front of his mother inside their family-run restaurant has had her bid to let the Latin American eatery serve booze again rejected by a council.

Irina Elizabeth Solorzano Chango told a Southwark council licensing meeting yesterday that she had taken over Rincon Costeno in Elephant and Castle from her aunt Rocio Chango Mullo in December 2023.

Ms Chango Mullo witnessed her son Ian Gualavisi, 23, get murdered at the Ecuadorian restaurant on Maldonado Walk weeks before Christmas in 2021.

Councillors were left unsatisfied after Ms Solorzano Chango initially failed to disclose her relationship to Ms Chango Mullo at a previous hearing on June 3, and claimed she didn’t know the address of the restaurant that it later emerged she had been running for six months. She also told councillors that she acquired her personal licence from Southwark council, but in her application she said it was from Lambeth.

Cllr Margy Newens, a member of the committee, said she believed that some of the information Ms Solarzano Chango had provided at the hearings had been untruthful.

Cllr Newens asked Ms Solarzano Chango to explain why she had ‘misrepresented’ certain facts, including her initial denial that she had any connection to Rincon Costeno’s previous managers, which included her aunt.

Ms Solarzano Chango responded that she didn’t think the relationship was relevant at the time because her aunt was not involved in the restaurant’s new operation.

 She added: “I didn’t think that it was needed to say anything about her because she’s not there any more. […] She’s not with me in the restaurant.”

Raul Gimeno, representing Ms Solorzano Chango, claimed Ms Solorzano had rang him during the meeting and complained she felt like she was ‘being attacked’. But the council’s legal advisor said there was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ in the councillors’ questioning of her. Cllr Renata Hamvas later said she was ‘sorry’ that Ms Solorzano Chango became distressed during the meeting.

Pictured top: Rincon Costeno on Maldonado Walk in Elephant and Castle (Picture: Google Street View)

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