Iron House building for rent as restaurant stays closed

Ironmongers, St John Maddermarket, Norwich

The Iron House restaurant building in the Norwich Lanes is up for rent. - Credit: Archant

A historic building housing the Iron House restaurant in Norwich's Lanes is for rent for £35,000 a year.

The restaurant, on the corner of St John Maddermarket and Lobster Lane, opened in 2011 but has been closed since March 2020. It has not posted on social media nor its website since then.

If a new tenant takes it on as a restaurant, it could reopen but the building may be used for another kind of business, stated agent Roche.

Graham Jones from Roche said: "The property was last used as a restaurant and therefore immediately suits future restaurant use.

"t may also offer potential for various retail uses, subject to the landlords' prior consent and obtaining any required planning, licensing, and statutory consents."

Iron House St John Maddermarket, Norwich

The Iron House building when it was a pub, the Ironmongers Arms. - Credit: Archant

The Iron House building dates to 1756 and was originally a bakery, before becoming a popular pub, the Ironmongers Arms, in 1869. It was renowned for its zinc-topped bar and at one time was named Nuts and Bolts but it closed in 2003. After that it became Mike's bar in 2008 before falling into disrepair.

In 2010, the building was bought by Jeremy King, who restored it, added a glazed roof and demolished some rooms added in the 1950s to give the building more space.

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He opened the restaurant in 2011 and in 2018 applied to Norwich City Council to put tables and chairs outside but was turned down.

Mr King also opened another restaurant, East Twenty Six in Exchange Street but this closed in 2019. The owner later obtained planning permission to turn the restaurant, also in a historic building, into a house.

At the time, pre-Covid, he cited a lack of roadside presence meaning passing trade to restaurants was "virtually non-existent".

Jeremy King Norwich

Jeremy King, who owns the Iron House building in St John Maddermarket. - Credit: Archant

He also blamed the influx of larger chain-operated restaurants affecting smaller independent businesses.

The Iron House building, Grade II listed, is arranged over three floors with an area for dining, a bar and kitchen with staff quarters and storage on the top floor. A new lease is being offered.

Mr King has been contacted for comment.