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Take a look inside the first M&S bar opened in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:50 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:13 05 September 2019

The M&S team behind the bar before the big M&S bar launch in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The M&S team behind the bar before the big M&S bar launch in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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This is not just any bar, it is an M&S bar and the Norwich branch is the first in the country to get one.

Store manager Jon Reddie pouring prosecco for the launch of the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella WilkinsonStore manager Jon Reddie pouring prosecco for the launch of the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

By day, the Market Place area by the Marks & Spencer entrance is a café, but from 5pm to 8pm each night it will transform into a bar with beer, cocktails, including Pimms and Pornstar Martini, wine and soft drinks.

The new concept was introduced by store manager Jon Reddie who took over last year and one of his main aims was to run more events at the Rampant Horse Street branch.

After they got the go-ahead from head office, they held trials over the last few weeks and hope to utilise the space, as the café normally shuts at 4.30pm, while the rest of the store shuts at 8pm.

Every evening the staff will have half an hour to change the signage and set up the tables and there will also be a range of snacks, including a Ploughman's Platter, with scotch egg and pork pie, crisps, olives, mixed nuts and breads and oils.

Staff members, Jonny Chinn (left) and Jordan Rolfe (right) with manager Frankie Minter (centre) in the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella WilkinsonStaff members, Jonny Chinn (left) and Jordan Rolfe (right) with manager Frankie Minter (centre) in the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Mr Reddie said: "We've got a great space down here right at the front of the store and normally it is closed between 5pm and 8pm and our customers have been telling us they want something to excite them.

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"There is no secret it is really tough on the high street and up and down the country they are struggling so we need to innovate and use our space differently and really listen to what our customers are asking for.

"We think this will look after our current customers but also definitely attract new ones as well."

M&S have opened a bar in the marketplace. Picture: Ella WilkinsonM&S have opened a bar in the marketplace. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The team are hoping that it will be popular for late-night shoppers, both in the store and across the city, and also those wanting pre-theatre drinks.

They also plan to increase the drinks offering in the coming months with mulled wine at Christmas and introducing local brands, such as Adnams and Woodfordes, which are already stocked in the food hall.

Kerry Ridley, sales assistant at M&S Norwich, said: "It is absolutely fabulous idea as when you go shopping and your husband is there hanging about they can just be put in here like a man crèche.

"There is nowhere in Norwich like this with a full window to watch the world go by and I think it is just lovely."

Tim and Kerry Ridley enjoying a few drinks in the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella WilkinsonTim and Kerry Ridley enjoying a few drinks in the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The Ploughmans platter on offer at the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella WilkinsonThe Ploughmans platter on offer at the new M&S bar. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

M&S in Norwich have opened a bar in the marketplace. Picture: Ella WilkinsonM&S in Norwich have opened a bar in the marketplace. Picture: Ella Wilkinson



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