Pair who fled quake set up café in St Agnes
A COUPLE who fled the aftermath of Japan's worst earthquake to set up a Zen café in St Agnes, are seeking permission to extend its licensing hours.
Owen and Natalie Lewis opened Genki Bar on Quay Road in March and want to serve alcohol from noon until 9pm, instead of the current 8pm, during summer, and from 9am to 6pm in the winter.
They are also asking Cornwall Council's licensing sub-committee to grant permission for live music between March and November from midday to 9.30pm Monday to Sunday.
The couple left Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that left 20,000 dead or missing and caused a nuclear disaster on March 11 last year.
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"We lived in Japan for six years and wanted to settle there," said Mr Lewis, who now lives in Towan Cross.
"There were lots of fears around radiation contamination and we took the decision to leave."
The couple found the former Sugar Shack, a small beach-hut that now sells "healthy" food and smoothies.
In a report, which was due to be considered by the committee yesterday, he described his business as: "... a very chilled and relaxed atmosphere with a Japanese Zen feel to it. It will be called the Genki Bar, which translates from Japanese to health and happiness.
"With this in mind, we will be very strict in ensuring that the bar remains quiet, peaceful, safe and calm.
"Preservation of the surrounding gardens and the desired calm atmosphere should help ensure that the surrounding area remains safe for the general public and children, and free from crime/disorder and public nuisance."