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Popular landlord retires from city centre pub

PUBLISHED: 06:58 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:40 01 July 2020

The Steam Packet in Norwich city centre. Landlord Hakim Skalli. Picture: Steve Adams

The Steam Packet in Norwich city centre. Landlord Hakim Skalli. Picture: Steve Adams

Archant

A popular landlord has retired after nearly a decade running a city centre pub.

The Steam Packet in Norwich city centre. Photo: Steve AdamsThe Steam Packet in Norwich city centre. Photo: Steve Adams

Hakim Skalli, known as Kim, 65, has stepped down from The Steam Packet on Crown Road.

He decided not to renew his lease, which ended in March, in order to retire and “take things a bit easier.”

But Mr Skalli, who was born in Casablanca in Morocco, confirmed a new landlord will be taking over the pub.

Mr Skalli said: “It had always been planned I would retired when the lease was up.

“I’m very lucky as I have had a wonderful nine and a half years running the pub and it is hard to for me to leave, but I want to chill out.”

During his career at the pub, Mr Skalli said his best memories were having fun with the customers.

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He added: “We had football, music and party people and they were all the best and I used to party with all them.

“One of the special things about it was that we always had bands playing in there all the time and I’ve been told it had the best jukebox in Norwich.

Once the pandemic is over, Mr Skalli hopes to spend time in Marrakesh to work on a farm which rescues mis-treated donkeys.

But he said he would never leave Norwich, which became his home after he studied at a language school in the city at the age of 22.

Mr Skalli said: “I want to spend more time in Marrakesh at my farm and help those poor donkeys live a nice life.

“But I would never move there permanently as I love Norwich and it is full of wonderful people who really make the place. I went as a student and never left and could never leave now.

“Once coronavirus is finished, I will be drinking in the Steam Packet and I hope to see all of my former customers and I will be partying with everyone.”

Mr Skalli previously ran Mamma Mia, an Italian restaurant in Great Yarmouth, for about six years before taking on the Medina restaurant in Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road in 1999 until the business closed in 2007.


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