May 20 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 2, 2012
Cellar House manager Stu Murdoch was once the youngest club steward running working men’s clubs in the north-east of England.
He moved down to Norwich for a quiet life and 11 years on he is still here.
But he still shows his footballing allegiance by wearing a Newcastle United football jersey when he’s not forced to put on a shirt, as he was for our photographer.
Earlier this year there was an outcry when the Cellar House closed. Regulars cried out that it was a sad loss for Eaton but also for the city of Norwich, as it was such a popular and famous venue.
It even threw the Norwich South Conservatives into a spin, as they had to find an alternative venue for their annual general meeting.
But the pub soon reopened and Mr Murdoch, who had started there as a bar manager about 11 years earlier, returned to become the new manager after a stint as chef at the UEA.
Many of the regulars dispersed across different pubs across the area when it closed, and Mr Murdoch said it had been a tough job getting them to come back.
But many have returned to the fold, and the pub is now back on its feet and keen to attract more customers.
Mr Murdoch said: “I think what sets this pub apart from others is the atmosphere.
“It’s somewhere where a lady friend of mine said she could come in on her own and know that she will be safe.
“It’s a community pub and I think it’s different to the Red Lion in Eaton, down the road, which is more of a restaurant. It’s really the only pub round here, so it’s a mini-community centre.
“People were very upset when it closed earlier this year, none more so than me. A lot of regulars did move a while to other pubs, but slowly and surely we are getting them back.”
The pub is proud of its offer of decent, low-cost meals, and the setting is very traditional, with wooden beams on the ceilings, prints on the wall, and a large beer garden outside. They also do five real ales and a have popular curry night every Tuesday.
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