The team at a new Norwich bar has said they were left "heartbroken" after being targeted by a spate of malicious no-show bookings.

Cocktail company Doxi teamed up with coffee shop Alchemista in St Gregory's Alley to launch a bar two weeks ago. 

But on Saturday night the business potentially stood to lose thousands of pounds due to someone booking up all of their tables throughout the night and then not turning up.

Norwich Evening News: Amy Hargreaves and Steven Cole of Doxi CocktailsAmy Hargreaves and Steven Cole of Doxi Cocktails (Image: Tim Steele)

Doxi owner, Amy Hargreaves, explained: "It was devastating. We were really excited as a new place to find we were fully booked and we had bought extra stock for the night.

"It seems whoever has done it has gone out of their way to make us lose money. It was a hard night for us all."

The bar had recently joined Open Table, an online service that lets people book tables.

The bookings were made with notes added, with one person saying they were going to propose to their partner.

Tables were also gradually added through the night as well but after 9pm it dawned on the staff that they were not real bookings.

"We called the numbers left and they were all fake," said Ms Hargreaves.

She added: "They did it on Sunday and late on Christmas Eve as well, as if to make us wait right till the end of the night before finding out."

Norwich Evening News: The bar at Alchemista opens in the evenings, offering a full bar service with beers, wines and cocktailsThe bar at Alchemista opens in the evenings, offering a full bar service with beers, wines and cocktails (Image: Doxi Cocktails)

Doxi has since closed its Open Table account - with bosses saying they didn't blame the platform - to avoid this happening in the future.

The 30-year-old said: "We have no idea who would want to do this, we haven't made any enemies since been in business.

"We've had fake reviews as well since opening. I'm grateful I got to this age before realising how cruel people can be."

Other local businesses have rallied around Doxi after hearing the news and spoke of their frustrations at no-show bookings, which seem to be a theme among small businesses in the city.

"We've heard from other people who have had similar problems.

"It can have a huge impact and is really unfair, especially during these difficult times.

"It was heartbreaking but we hope to move forward from here."