Quirky cocktail bar plans to expand

Gregory Clark, owner of Arboretum cocktail bar in Norwich

Gregory Clark, owner of Arboretum cocktail bar in Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

An antiques and drinks entrepreneur is hoping to expand his quirky bar to serve up classic Martini cocktails and traditional card games.

Gregory Clark, 31, who opened Arboretum cocktail bar in St Benedicts Street in June 2018, will be lodging plans to Norwich City Council to open a room above the venue in two weeks time.

If approved, it will be called the Queen's Room, inspired by the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, and will be an "expansive space" for 15 people and can be hired for private parties.

Mr Clark, who also sells the medical-themed Victorian antiques which form part of the bar's furniture and decoration, said: "I want the room to serve traditional Savoy Hotel-style Martini classic, clean cocktails. I will train staff to run traditional card games so the room will be a completely immersive experience.

"We are hoping to be open by the latest in October or November for Christmas parties.

"It makes sense to capitalise on the success we have had so far and ramp up the immersive nature of the site. We want to take it to the next level. That is exciting."

He added he has spent £40,000 on refurbishing the room and if it was approved two extra staff could be employed for the Queen's Room.

Most Read

The bar currently has two rooms and a garden catering for around 30 at capacity. 

Arboritum cocktail bar in St Benedicts Street, Norwich

Arboritum cocktail bar in St Benedicts Street, Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Mr Clark added he wanted the specialist upstairs room to become a reality because he wanted the ground floor space to remain casual.

The Norwich University of the Arts fine art graduate added: "It is a tough time at the moment for hospitality but since Covid it has made people in the trade understand they need to innovate. A lot of people realised in lockdown you could have a drink in your garden and that is fine. You have to do something special."

The bar, which has a blank exterior, employs three people and said: "Norwich is a good place where independent businesses can be a bit weird."