Norwich pub/restaurant famous for its giant burger closes

PUBLISHED: 17:19 07 April 2011 | UPDATED: 14:56 08 April 2011

Sudeep De with the giant burger in Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Sudeep De with the giant burger in Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2010

A Norwich pub and restaurant that was famous for its giant ‘Challenge’ burger has closed - despite recently undergoing a name change to attract a different clientele.

Basement - opposite the Bell Hotel in Farmers’ Avenue in the city centre - was known before the name change for about five months as Over de Flames, and before that as Blind Pig and, more successfully, as Owens Cafe Bar.

The pub attracted a lot of attention when it introduced a challenge to customers to take home £200 in cash if they could eat a burger weighing three kilos with a 30cm diameter in two hours. The only drawback was that you had to pay £30 for the burger if you failed.

Evening News’ reporter David Bale took up the challenge but failed and more than 30 people also attempted to eat the burger without success.

The pub’s owner Sudeep De said today that he was sad that the name change had not boosted trade enough for him to keep it on.

He said he had spent more than £40,000 on the pub since taking it over last September, but it was not financially viable to keep it running.

He said: “I had to close and now I’m looking to sell on the lease I bought. I did change the name from Over de Flames to Basement, because I wanted to attract a different clientele. Before that I had reduced the drinks prices and that had attracted the wrong sort of people who made a lot of noise. I had to ban some people from the pub.

“Summer’s coming and it could have done well, but I could not take the chance on that, so I closed it.”

As reported, Mr De opened the pub after it had been closed for about a year, since failing to take off as the Blind Pig pub, which took its name from 1920s and 30s America.

Do you know of a restaurant closing or opening in Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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