Man denies running Japanese restaurant from Norwich home for the third time

Orlando Williams has denied running a restaurant from his Earlham Road home

Orlando Williams has denied running a restaurant from his Earlham Road home again. - Credit: Simon Finlay/Ruth Lawes

A man has denied running a Japanese restaurant from his Norwich home for a third time – but is facing a fresh probe after reports of customers dining-in during lockdown. 

New evidence Orlando Williams is operating a clandestine restaurant from his Earlham Road address has prompted another council investigation. 

Claims have been made that Mr Williams' firm Orlando's served food to multiple diners in November, which would breach both coronavirus laws and planning regulations.  

A public Facebook page under Mr Williams' address has published a post advertising takeaway during the second national lockdown.

A public Facebook page under Mr Williams' address has published a post advertising takeaway during the second national lockdown. - Credit: Facebook

But Mr Williams, who has permission to run a bed and breakfast but not a restaurant, denies all allegations. 

Norwich City Council confirmed they received recent allegations of the illicit restaurant. 

A spokesperson said: “We will again investigate whether the premises is operating in accordance with environmental health regulations, and the planning permissions required for a B&B.” 

A public Facebook post under Mr Williams' address advertises meals.

A public Facebook post under Mr Williams' address advertises meals. - Credit: Facebook

It comes after his neighbour, Becky Greengrass, alleges she saw a total of seven people eating meals inside his home on Saturday (November, 28).


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The 46-year-old financial administrator said: "I saw at least seven people, which included three couples, sat at tables and eating food. No one was wearing a mask and there was no social distancing."

Posts published on a public Facebook page under Mr Williams' address have also advertised meals.

The sign at Orlando's has been removed. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The sign at Orlando's war removed earlier this year but has now returned - despite not having planning permission. Pic: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

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One post, published on November 23, said: "After lockdown please come to ORLANDO's for breakfast, lunch and supper [sic]."

Another post, published on November 13, said: "I am inviting friends to sample my take-away Japanese dishes this month. Ring for information."

When this fresh evidence was put to Mr Williams, who previously ran a legitimate restaurant Sakura Yakiniku on Ber Street, he said: "I'm not running a restaurant." 

Meanwhile, Ms Greengrass reported the activity on Saturday to Norwich City Council and Norfolk Police.

She said: "I'm gobsmacked nobody seems to be doing anything about it. I keep reporting what is going on and I don't know where to turn to next to get it stopped once and for all."

Confirming the report, a spokesperson for Norfolk Police said: "This is something that would be dealt with by the local authority." 

Council officers previously led an investigation at the seven bedroom home last January and uncovered a bar and seating for 24 people.

But no enforcement action was taken after City Hall found no “definitive evidence” showing the address was operating as a restaurant.

It is the third time allegations have been made against Mr Williams and the second time he has also been accused of flouting coronavirus restrictions.

During the first lockdown, we were able to purchase a takeaway, and were offered the option to dine-in, after calling Mr Williams, who provided a priced menu by text message.

The menu and dining options offered to this newspaper. Picture: Archant

The menu and dining options offered to this newspaper in May. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

The food ordered from Orlandos, which does not have the planning permission to operate as a takeaway

The food ordered from Orlandos in May, which does not have the planning permission to operate as a takeaway. Picture: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant

At the time, Mr Williams denied running a restaurant, which is all he would say when approached this week about the latest claims.

Meanwhile, a sign reading 'Orlandos' with a telephone number and website address has been redisplayed.

The sign at Orlando's has been removed. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The sign at Orlando's war removed earlier this year but has now returned - despite not having planning permission. Pic: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

In June, enforcement officers ordered Mr Williams to take the sign down as he did not have permission. 

There is still no planning permission for the sign.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “It has previously been made clear to Mr Williams that the sign at his premises was in breach of planning regulations, and we worked with him to resolve this earlier in the year, following which he removed the sign.

"We have been made aware that the sign has been put back up and are investigating this." 

When asked this week about the sign, Mr Williams said: "That is not to do with a restaurant. I'm not going to discuss anything."

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