New landlords in charge at historic Norwich riverside pub

The new bosses at one of Norwich's most historic pubs hope it's a good time to be starting out, with the summer weather set to improve and the football season just weeks away.

Amanda Rose and partner James Francis have bought the lease at the Red Lion in Bishopgate, and are hoping that its idyllic location by the River Wensum will help bring in locals, holidaymakers, and football fans alike.

The couple, who have two children, have taken over from Pam Fitzgerald who ran the Enterprise Inns pub for nine years and many other pubs with her partner John Whyman, but has now retired.

The new couple both have diverse careers behind them with Mr Francis, from Costessey, a former prison officer at Norwich Prison and Miss Rose an ex-police officer.

They met while Miss Rose worked for Alitalia at Norwich Airport, and more recently they ran a farm shop in Miss Rose's native Yorkshire, where they supplied many local pubs, getting to know how they are run in the process.

Miss Rose, who will be more front of house while her partner will be based in the kitchen, is part-Italian and her family run Italian restaurants in Yorkshire, so the pub should become a haven for lovers of Italian food in the area.

Miss Rose said: 'New pizza pubs in London are now doing well so there's a movement towards Italian food in pubs, which we want to get involved in.

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'Hopefully with Norwich City in the Premier League next season we are well placed to pick up fans on their way to or from the ground. 'It's also a good location for people mooring their boats on the river, and a lovely historic part of the city where holidaymakers come to.

'It's just a two-minute walk from the city and a lovely walk whether you go through the cathedral grounds or by the river.

'We think we're a little oasis in the middle of the city, but there's no guarantee whenever you start a new job that you will be a success, but if we offer good quality at good prices, then we will do all right.'

And while the bosses may have changed, the pub's long-serving barmaid Mel Goss has stayed on, so regulars still have a familiar face behind the bar.

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