May 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 12, 2012
Spending time at the Queen of the Iceni at Riverside before a match is a ritual for many Norwich City fans, and the pub’s manager Alasdair Peat has fallen in love with the city through his contacts with the fans and locals.
He cites the celebrations at the pub following Norwich City’s promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago as one of the best times in his professional life.
He said: “Being here on the day Norwich were promoted was one of the best days ever.
“Not just because there were so many people in the pub, but the atmosphere and everything about it, made it such a fantastic day.
“Dealing with the fans who are so loyal to the club and place has been great.”
Mr Peat arrived in the city about seven years ago and was tasked with taking over the pub.
Originally from Birkenhead, across the river Mersey from Liverpool, he started working at Wetherspoon pubs while at university in Leicester.
Since then he has worked for the chain in Swindon, Portsmouth and Croydon.
He said: “I knew nothing about Norwich when I was asked to move here, but now I love the city and the people. And I love the football team.
“There’s a great quality of life in Norwich. It’s a decent-sized city with a great atmosphere. There’s no quality of life in a place like Swindon.”
While the Riverside complex has had its ups and downs, the Lloyds No 1 bar has done well throughout the bad times as well as the good.
“We have been able to sustain and grow in that period,” he added.
“We have a team here that works for the customers, and we never have any trouble.
“It’s such a big place that people who just want a quiet coffee can find somewhere to relax.”
He said that while food sales was just a small part of the business seven years ago, it is now huge, and the pub’s daytime trade has also sky-rocketed. The pub is due for a major refit in the next few months.
The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal