Cafe and tapas restaurant to move into former Loose's shop

Work is underway at The Yard

Work is underway at the new coffee shop, The Yard, in Norwich run by Gee Gallant and Shane Blake (inset), alongside business partner Tait Pollack. - Credit: The Yard

The former Loose's Cookshop in the city centre will have fresh life breathed into it with an independent coffee shop set to open. 

The Yard will be opening in the glass-fronted building in Red Lion Street serving ethically sourced coffee as well as cakes, pastries and paninis. 

However owners Gee Gallant, Shane Blake and Tait Pollack will also be teaming up with nearby Portuguese restaurant Jorge's to offer tapas from its takeaway Bifinas menu. 

Loose's Cookshop in Red Lion Street, which is closing at the end of June 2018. Picture: DENISE BRADL

Loose's Cookshop in Red Lion Street before it closed in June 2018. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Ms Gallant and Mr Blake have long dreamed of opening their own coffee shop having managed sites across Norfolk for years, but had the final push to do so during lockdown. 

Ms Gallant said: "It is a risk entering the hospitality industry after the 18 months we've just had - but I truly don't think we would have done this if it wasn't for the pandemic. I think lockdown made a lot of people stop what they were doing and really think about what they wanted - which was certainly the case for us. 

"Tait owns the building and was really keen to have a coffee shop on site. As well as the people in the office upstairs we've had a lot of people walking past and asking wat's going on - there's a great feel of community here already."

Loose's Cookshop had been in the site for 227 years - but closed in 2018.

Ms Gallant added: "It's brilliant to be able to bring a culinary edge back to this building. A lot of people remember this as the Loose's so we're looking forward to bringing something new to it.

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"It's absolutely beautiful with it's glass frontage, we're very excited with it's potential."

The owners, who have invested thousands in the launch, are also striving to make their business as ethical as possible. 

As well as working with Norfolk suppliers for their ingredients and cakes they are sourcing their coffee beans from a Brazillian business with named farmers and growers, paid in US dollars to ensure fair salaries. 

The team are currently working towards an opening day of the end of June into early July, with plans to potentially stock wine and pantry items in the future.