A GLASGOW restaurateur has said she is “delighted” after being told she can continue to operate after convincing a court that her business has been operating as a cafe since full lockdown ended.

Eusebi’s Deli in Glasgow is among a handful of hospitality businesses against which the council is pursuing enforcement action saying they do not meet the criteria for an exemption that allows cafes to remain open during temporary “circuit breaker” restrictions affecting the Central Belt.

The Herald revealed on Wednesday that the local authority had issued final warnings to a number of businesses to close.

However, it has now emerged that Giovanna Eusebi secured an interim interdict from the Sheriff Court in Glasgow on Tuesday night which prevents the local authority from serving her with a prohibition notice that would force her to shut. 

It is understood the temporary ruling centred on receipts from the past two weeks which Ms Eusebi said had shown that the venue has primarily served “cafe food” and coffees. 

READ MORE: Restaurants facing forced closure after defying circuit breaker lockdown restrictions 

The First Minister announced yesterday that hospitality restrictions are to be extended for a further week until a new five-tier lockdown system is introduced on November 2.

Eusebi’s operates on two levels with the ground floor serving breakfast and lunch dishes including pastas, as well as hot beverages and cakes and a restaurant in the basement area, which is currently closed. 

Ms Eusebi, who is a Herald food writer, runs another delicatessen in the east end of Glasgow.

She said: “We are delighted by the decision of the court which vindicates the position we have taken from the very beginning.  

“Since re-opening in the summer, we have served thousands of customers in a safe and secure cafe and deli environment with every precaution in place. 

“We look forward to getting back to concentrating on welcoming the people of Glasgow on that basis.” 

According to government guidelines cafes are defined as establishments which sell “non-alcoholic, drinks, snacks and light meals” as their primary business activity.

This could, though, include cafes with a liquor licence, which will be allowed to stay open if they stop selling alcohol.

The First Minister said in her briefing that establishments “will know if they are a restaurant”, while decisions would be based on the type of service businesses would normally provide.

READ MORE: Pubs and restaurants in central Scotland to remain closed for another week 

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said the advice to businesses “remained unchanged”, while leader Susan Aitken said it would come as no surprise that businesses were interpreting the rules “in whichever way gives them a chance to keep trading”.

While other venues would be required to go through the same legal process in order to prevent enforcement action, the interdict could open the floodgates for other businesses to follow suit.

It is not clear what the timescale will be for a more permanent court decision on whether Eusebi’s can continue to trade.

Stephen J. McGowan, Partner and Head of Licencing for Scotland for TLT LLP said:“Acting on behalf of Eusebi Deli we secured an interim interdict on 19 October, preventing Glasgow City Council from issuing a closure order under the relevant Coronavirus regulations.

"The court agreed with our submissions that the premises met the legal definition of “café” under the regulations, meaning they can continue to trade."

READ MORE: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirms Scotland set for five-tier coronavirus lockdown system 

A council spokeswoman said: “Legal proceedings are now live in relation to one premises and, for that reason, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to make any detailed comment on that case.

"However, our existing advice to businesses about what does and doesn’t constitute a café remains unchanged.”

Susan Aitken, leader of  Glasgow City Council, said: “I find it hard to criticise operators who are fighting for their businesses and the livelihoods of those they employ. 

“Businesses are interpreting the rules in whichever way gives them a chance to keep trading – and that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those who set the rules, or those of us in local government that have been given the task of implementing them.

“Like hundreds of businesses across the city, I am anxious to see Glasgow’s hospitality sector open for business – and our economic recovery gather pace. 

“However, that is only going to happen when we slow transmission of the virus. 

“Until we achieve that, the other danger facing any community will remain the introduction of even tighter restrictions, put in place for longer.

"Like local government leaders in the North of England, I don’t believe the Treasury is providing the kind of resources we need to deal with the impact of these restrictions.

“Councils in the devolved nations don’t negotiate directly with Westminster – but I am clear, as are Scottish ministers, that they should be extending the furlough scheme in the areas and sectors where the most extensive restrictions are in place.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "This is a matter for the court and the party interdicted.

"We have no further comment."