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New cafe for Norwich as French bistro closes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 November 2010

A mother and daughter are trying to turn around the fortunes of a recently closed cafe.

Café du Commerce on King Street in the city centre closed several weeks ago after the owners struggled to make it financially viable.

The French style café bistro opened in August last year, serving French-inspired food using local ingredients, but owner Simon Turner and his wife Kelly took the decision to close the business and focus their attentions on its sister restaurant, the popular Elm Hill Brasserie.

This week, however, the cafe has reopened as the Green Door, a new venture of former King of Hearts manager Jan Scott and her daughter Caroline.

The mum and daughter team, together with chef Caroline Wood, plan to serve home-cooked food, using fresh and local ingredients.

Mrs Scott, 56, whose 20-year-old daughter is at the University of East studying business management and is working in the cafe three days a week, said: “I had been in Cafe du Commerce a few times and thought it was a lovely little place. I thought it was a shame when I saw it had closed and got in contact with Simon.

“We all have a love of food and are hoping to appeal to everybody as well as office workers in the area. They can come in here, sit down and can have lunch or a coffee here. We want to keep it friendly, affordable and healthy. We’re really aware that’s high on agenda for some people.”

They are serving breakfast up to 11am and then a daytime menu from 11am to 3pm.

Everything is made on the site and they are baking cakes, making soup and serving a daily “hot and tasty meal in a bowl”, ranging from meatballs with spaghetti to butternut squash and spinach lasagne.

Mr Turner said: “The Elm Hill Brasserie continues to be successful so we decided to focus our energy on that rather than a business which wasn’t working for us.

“We are still the leaseholders and wish Jan every success. We were unlucky, these things happen, hopefully they can make a success of that site.”

Meanwhile, the owners of the Hub, also in King Street, plan to reopen the cafe soon.

It had closed temporarily in the summer, with the lack of footfall being blamed on the long-delayed St Anne’s Wharf development.

At the time, Andi Gibbs, architect and owner of The Hub, said: “Because City Living and the site opposite has gone into receivership we are having to reconsider the sustainability of The Hub.

“It will reopen in a different form - it is likely to be a creative arts project/cafe - but not reliant on passing trade and footfall.”

Are you opening a new venture in Norwich? Call reporter Kate Scotter or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk



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