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New owner reveals major revamp plans for Norwich café

Sam McGhee (inset) is taking over the former People's Palace site in Norwich. Picture: Sam McGhee/Archant

Sam McGhee (inset) is taking over the former People's Palace site in Norwich. Picture: Sam McGhee/Archant

Sam McGhee/Archant

The new owner of a Norwich café has revealed he will be giving the site a facelift in a bid to bring in a new generation of regulars.

The People's Palace Café at Suffolk Square has been taken over. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe People's Palace Café at Suffolk Square has been taken over. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sam McGhee is taking over the People's Palace in Suffolk Square, a formerly community-focussed café run by Laurent Zahorosko.

Mr McGhee, 21, has spent around £5,000 refurbishing the inside of the café with a breakfast bar and new furniture, as well as new equipment to make barista-style coffees and toasties.

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He'll also be putting up some new signage and has changed the café's name to 'Sam's'.

The cafe will be opening in mid-January.

Mr McGhee has grown up around the corner from the café, and has been a regular all his life.

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He said: "I think the café was only attracting people who had always been regulars. I'd like to get some new faces in, as well as keeping the regulars, and hopefully my new menu will help with that."

Mr McGhee will be serving everything from sausage sandwiches to homemade burgers, as well as ice cream milkshakes.

"I'm going to be making as much as I can myself," he said. "We're going to have Oreo and Aero mint milkshakes as well as coffee made from home-roasted beans.

"We're in a prime position here for people not only shopping in this row of shops but also people parking up to walk into town. It's free on Sundays and where the café wasn't open on Sundays before I now will be."

Mr McGhee had previously considered taking over the café but said the timing wasn't right.

However when Mr Zahorosko announced his retirement he said the opportunity was "too good to miss".

"If this opening goes well I would love to open more cafes," Mr McGhee said. "Whether that would be in Norwich or on the outskirts, similar to this one, I don't know - but I'd definitely like to have more than one site."

The business was formerly run by Mr Zahorosko for 12 years, who announced his retirement last week.

The cafe prevously hosted fortnightly community lunches and a Christmas Day community feast by the NR2 Sunday Social charity.

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