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Norwich restaurant offering 'a whole world of food' closes down

PUBLISHED: 16:05 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:06 04 July 2019

The Giraffe restaurant at Chapelfield is the latest closure. Pic: Archant

The Giraffe restaurant at Chapelfield is the latest closure. Pic: Archant

Norwich has lost another restaurant after a "funky child-friendly chain" closed in Chapelfield along with almost 30 other sites across the UK.

Giraffe in Norwich is now closed. Pic: ArchantGiraffe in Norwich is now closed. Pic: Archant

The diner, part of the Boparan Restaurant Group was earmarked for closure in March and has now shut down with notices on the building stating simply: "We're closed."

Its Norwich website has been removed and its TripAdvisor presence is also marked as closed. It has not been made public how many jobs have been lost.

Giraffe in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is also a casualty of the 27 nationwide closures.

The empty unit which used to be Jamie's Italian at the entrance to the Royal Arcade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe empty unit which used to be Jamie's Italian at the entrance to the Royal Arcade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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BRG also owns the Ed's Easy Diner chain but this restaurant is still open in Chapelfield, Norwich.

Giraffe offered a menu drawing from different countries with the aim of giving the diner a taste of "a whole world of food waiting to be explored".

Veeno, a wine bar and restaurant, closed after four months in Norwich's Castle Mall. Pic: ArchantVeeno, a wine bar and restaurant, closed after four months in Norwich's Castle Mall. Pic: Archant

Its closure comes as the latest of many other restaurants which have shut down over the past few months in Norwich. People were shocked when Pedro's cantina, a Mexican themed venue in Chapelfield Gardens closed in May with the owners citing a desperate lack of trade despite being one of the city's longest running restaurants.

Veeno, a wine bar offering light meals, closed only a few months after opening in Norwich's Castle Mall and one of the biggest losses was Jamie's Italian, which closed in the Royal Arcade where its huge double storey unit remains empty and boarded up.

Many of the closures are food chains offering hugely varied menus mixing styles and flavours which, although had appeal a few years ago, seem less popular now. Diners are seeming to favour independently-run restaurants offering locally sourced food or different style meals that offer more atmosphere and experience.

Ecky Limon, who runs the Blue Joanna bar and kitchen on Unthank Road in the city, said people's dining preferences had changed - and restaurants needed to reflect this. "We offer live music and food choices which are fun to share and a bit different such as our sticky chilli chicken wings or our wasabi and gin battered prawns. We're a small venue and not open during the day but always busy in the evenings."

Ecky Limon, who runs the Blue Joanna bar and kitchen, Unthank Road. Pic: ArchantEcky Limon, who runs the Blue Joanna bar and kitchen, Unthank Road. Pic: Archant

The Giraffe closures were by CVA, company voluntary agreement, which allows a company to get rid of its loss-making stores and reduce some rents to enable it to continue trading. It now has 26 restaurants across the UK and five abroad, but none in East Anglia, the nearest now being in London at Westfield, Stratford.

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