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Antiques dealer to open new bar in Norwich with interesting twist

PUBLISHED: 16:23 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:20 29 May 2018

Former NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich.
Greg with a dead octupi in a jar.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Former NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Greg with a dead octupi in a jar. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

One man and his dog are to open a new bar in Norwich, offering locally-sourced drinks, an all-British wine list - and the opportunity to buy a dead octopus in a jar.

Former NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich.
Greg with a dead octupi in a jar.
Picture: Nick ButcherFormer NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Greg with a dead octupi in a jar. Picture: Nick Butcher

Antiques dealer and former Norwich University of the Arts student Greg Williams is converting a former food market on St Benedicts Street into a bar-cum-antiques shop, with the help of faithful companion Dillon - a nine-month-old Irish Wolfhound.

The project will give Mr Williams, 27, the opportunity to combine his two previous areas of work - bar work and antiques dealing.

The bar will be decorated with antiques and oddities from Mr Williams’ collection, and if visitors see anything that takes their fancy, they can buy it.

Mr Williams, who previously sold antiques out of St Gregory’s Antiques and Collectables, said: “When I was studying at NUA I soon discovered the types of things I was making would sell for more than I paid for them - so it made sense for me to go into antiquing.

Former NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich.
Greg with his dog Dylan.
Picture: Nick ButcherFormer NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Greg with his dog Dylan. Picture: Nick Butcher

“I specialise in Victorian curiosities, so essentially anything old and a bit odd.”

Among the items Mr Williams has up for grabs is a preserved octopus in a jar, which will be on display and up for sale for a cool £80.

Mr Williams has named the bar Arboretum, a Victorian-era word meaning a botanical garden with trees.

Once open, it will have a capacity of just 30 people, with himself and Dillon initially the only members of staff.

Former NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich.
Greg with his dog Dylan.
Picture: Nick ButcherFormer NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Greg with his dog Dylan. Picture: Nick Butcher

In a planning application to Norwich City Council, Mr Williams specifies the bar’s proposed business hours, which would see it open from 12pm until 10pm Tuesdays to Saturdays.

He added: “The idea is for somewhere fairly relaxed and intimate, where people can have a quiet drink. It’s going to be more of a place people might go before they go out, so there’s no real need to open later.

“Then, if anybody sees something they like, providing it isn’t nailed down they can haggle with me and take it away - as long as it isn’t the dog.

“He’s not for sale.”


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