Noodle bar's bid to take on large empty shop near market

Customers queuing outside the Chopstix Noodle Bar in Chantry Place, Norwich

Customers queuing outside the Chopstix Noodle Bar in Chantry Place, Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Shoppers should get their chopsticks at the ready as plans have been lodged for a large new noodle bar to open near the city's historic market square. 

Formerly a gift shop occupied the unit on the corner of Gentleman's Walk and the market. 

However now Chopstix Noodle Bar, which already has a restaurant in Chantry Place, has set its sights on a second store in the city centre.

The business has submitted change of use plans to Norwich City Council to open a restaurant in the empty Grade II-listed building formerly occupied by Gift Company.

The empty store in Gentleman's Walk, Norwich, formerly occupied by the Gift Company, which could become a Chopstix Noodle Bar

The empty store in Gentleman's Walk, Norwich, formerly occupied by the Gift Company, which could become a Chopstix Noodle Bar - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

If approved, it would employ three full-time and five part-time staff.

It would be open from 11am-9pm Monday-Saturday, according to planning documents.

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It is good that there are different businesses testing different areas of the city.

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"The city is changing and people use the city centre differently. It has to change and adapt to what modern users want."

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director at Norwich BID. Photo: Submitted

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director at Norwich BID. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

He added there was good footfall in the area and the historic building had been home to a variety of businesses in the past.

The design and access statement for the plan said: "Although the site is within the conservation area and is a listed building, the scope of works proposed have no impact of the retention of the character of the building, therefore will not harm the existing heritage and local neighbouring site, ensuring there is no impact on important elements of the site."

It added the current wooden shopfront would remain and the changes would be done inside including the introduction of mechanical ventilation.

Planning documents added: "The basement, ground and first floor levels have significantly been remodelled over the years.

"There are two cellars which have been dated to 14th century.

"They have vaulted roofs and are effectively sealed off from the rest of the basement. There would be no impact on these vaults from the proposal. 

"It is proposed that there are no structural works involved during the change of use."

A new kitchen, toilet and storeroom will also be built.

Chopstix has more than 50 sites in the UK and Republic of Ireland.