New Westlegate bar/bistro set to fight for breakfast trade in Norwich city centre
A historic but overlooked part of Norwich city centre is set to get another boost with the opening of a new bar/bistro named after the area next month.
The new venue, Westlegate, near the huge John Lewis store, will be a daytime venue open from about 8am to 8pm daily.
It will occupy the downstairs of the former Mustard Lounge nightclub which will continue to operate upstairs at night-times with a new terrace area.
Work on the new Westlegate bar has already started and the interior has been stripped out. The owners hope it will be open in about six weeks' time.
It is more good news for the wider area which was once an important part of medieval Norwich but has sometimes struggled to thrive in recent times.
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Last month Tribal Riders, a store selling winter sports gear, opened at the former Venturesports in Westlegate selling snowboarding hardware and winter sports outerwear.
And earlier in the year the nearby Westlegate House, considered by many to be one of the ugliest buildings in Norwich, was bought, fuelling hopes it could soon be redeveloped.
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The 11-storey tower, which had stood empty for 15 years, was put on the market in March with a �1m price tag.
Matt Southernwood, who will be general manager of the new Westlegate bar, said: 'We are calling it a country pub in the city.
'With Westlegate tower now sold it seems a perfect opportunity to open a new bar and bistro and concentrate on the daytime trade in the area.
'We will be opening early and offering breakfast, so you can have breakfast butties before you go to work, and then will be looking to bring in the office and shop workers' trade in the area, and shoppers.
We don't envisage it being open late at night, probably from about 8am to 8pm.'
The lease at the building is owned by SPW Leisure and Mr Southernwood said it was spending thousands of pounds on the new venue.
Older readers will remember the venue as Imagine, Chandlers and before that, the Pig and Whistle. It was a popular venue for some time and the owners hope it will be again.
The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.
Do you know of another retailer/business/pub coming to Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 7724527 or email email@example.com.
Pub of the Week – see page 51.