December 8 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, November 2, 2013
A Norwich pub has its sights set on becoming the city’s top real ale destination after a £216,000 refurbishment.
Manager Ben Woof says he wants give the Compleat Angler on Prince of Wales Road “a fresh start” by making it appeal to a new clientele and offering improved food, beers and wines.
Among his innovative ideas for the pub are installing a departure board showing train times, so that travellers at nearby Norwich station can wait for their trains in comfort.
“What we are after is to be great competition for other pubs in the area, delivering great food, great beer and great wine. We’re already a great pub but we are going to be an awesome pub,” he said.
“We want to be the number one real ale pub in Norwich – we want to be top of the tree,” he said, adding that the pub would be regularly serving 10 cask ales.
Mr Woof arrived as general manager three months ago and has prepared the pub for a two-week refurbishment, and a transition from managing company Spirit’s John Barras brand to its best of British-style Taylor Walker line.
The 33-year-old has 13 years’ experience of running sports bars and pubs near football grounds in London and Birmingham, though the Compleat Angler is the first where he has taken the helm.
He said he intended to make the most of the high footfall levels passing the pub on a regular basis.
“We are in an ideal location: close to the football ground, a minute from the train station,” he said.
“We’re also in between the restaurants on Riverside and the bars and clubs up the hill on Prince of Wales Road.”
He added: “I’m trying to get another little telly to use as a departure board. If people need to wait for their train they might as well come here.”
Mr Woof said the pub – which is designated as an official away fans pub on Norwich City matchdays – would continue to show football, but he wanted to expand its appeal.
“We’ll still be the away pub, but I want to get to the point where football is a hindrance to my business, not the focus,” he added.
“I want everything to have a fresh start here. If you haven’t been in for two or three years, pop in and have a drink and tell me what you think.”