Casaccio’s enjoys a strong loyal following, so they were horrified when the popular café was forced to move. They need not have worried says SIMON PARKIN, the new café is better than ever.

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There are some places that, whilst never trendy or the talk of the town, remain enduringly popular with a fiercely loyal clientele who come back again and again.

Casaccio’s Café is just such a place.

The popular café had been a lunch time favourite in the Grade II listed thatched cottage in Westlegate for 14 years.

Perhaps you had never heard of it but many people had and it has enjoyed to successful reputation for its friendly service and reliably good food — not to mention the quirky surroundings: a thatched cottage in the middle of the city.

So when its owners announced they were being forced to move because of redevelopment plans for next door Westlegate House those regulars were horrified.

Thankfully owner Sylvia Barnes was determined that the enforced move not only wouldn’t be the end, but would actually be an opportunity.

Having looked at alternative homes in nearby Timberhill, they have finally found a suitable site in St Giles Street — a pretty plump spot overlooking the city hall clock tower.

Mrs Barnes said more than 100 customers had written letters in support of the cafe when it emerged its lease would not be renewed in Westlegate.

But she said: “I think the majority of our customers will join us there and I am really pleased that we have found somewhere.”

And though the new premises perhaps lack the quirkiness, they have certainly done a great job in already creating a homely atmosphere.

The new-story new café has colourful bright green and cream colour scheme downstairs, matched with chitzy wallpaper.

Meanwhile upstairs the green theme continues matched with black and white tiled floor in a classic café style.

The menu is a classic café fare with sandwiches, baguettes and salads with hot snacks like quiche of the day, soup of the day, baked potatoes and chilli.

That is backed up with an extensive mix of coffees and teas of various types. Best of all is the dessert menu that offers a great mix of nostalgic favourites like Knickerbocker Glory and Tutti Fruiti.

If our visit is anything to go by they are all well made and presented — I particularly recommend the Banana Splits which really took me back to childhood trips to the seaside.

When we visited the café was packed and, just as you’d expect if you’ve ever been to its previous home, there is a hugely friendly welcome.

It all bodes well for the new cafes future.

Mrs Barnes said: “I think it is just lovely that we have moved, I now see that the potential here is better with the footfall.

“I just want people to know we are still here, especially our old customers.

This is still the Casaccio’s people know, we were 15 years in Westlegate and we have only changed it slightly.

“Most of our customers have followed us. It was more a physical struggle to make something from nothing in three weeks.

“We have a loyal base of customers and got letters supporting our cause.

“We want to thank people for their support.”

CASACCIO’S CAFÉ

St Gles Street

Norwich

01603 664144

Open: daily 9am-5pm

Prices: Sandwiches from £4.95, baguettes from £.50, salads from £6.35

Vegetarian options: Plenty

Wheelchair access: Downstairs only

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