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Norwich Riverside bar has to close

PUBLISHED: 11:00 16 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:10 02 July 2010

Norwegian Blue bar on Norwich's Riverside has closed down.

Norwegian Blue bar on Norwich's Riverside has closed down.

David Bale

Trade at Norwich's Riverside has been hit so hard by the long-term closure of two of its flagship venues that another bar has had to close, it emerged today.

Trade at Norwich's Riverside has been hit so hard by the long-term closure of two of its flagship venues that another bar has had to close, it emerged today.

More than two-years-ago the Lava/Ignite nightclub and the Hollywood Bowl bowling alley at Norwich's Riverside closed suddenly.

Since then it has emerged that the closure was due to structural problems, yet still the issues have remain unresolved.

During this time the Evening News has repeatedly revealed how the closure has badly impacted trade in the area and today it emerged that this has caused the closure of the Norwegian Blue bar.

Norwegian Blue and nearby Squares are both owned by the same managed pub company, TCG Acquisitions, but the latter remains open, Ian Judge, general manager of both bars, said today.

He said the closure of the bar was on a temporary measure, adding: “It's just not busy enough at the moment to keep both of them open. We are hoping that when Lava/Ignite nightclub and the Hollywood Bowl bowling alley at Riverside reopen later in the year, Riverside will be busier. But we have not got a date when Norwegian Blue will reopen.”

The 25-year leaseholds at both bars are still up for sale through Christie and Co. estate agents in Ipswich.

But both the nightclub and bowling alley are due to reopen this year after a legal deal was struck to enable them to be refurbished.

In May last year landowners X-Leisure launched a £20m lawsuit against contractors claiming breach of contract saying the beams beneath the nightclub, which was regularly packed with nightclubbers, were flawed

But an out of court legal settlement resolved the row.

Today, Thorpe Hamlet city councillor Jeremy Hooke said: “It's been sad that the number of people visiting Riverside has dwindled, but hopefully when the two venues do reopen - hopefully around September - that footfall will pick up. Building work at the site is underway at the moment.”

The Evening News has, through our Love Your Local campaign, been highlighting the need for people to support their local pubs or risk them closing for good.

Pubs across the country are currently closing at a rate of 40 every week as the economic crisis takes its toll.

To see previous stories from our campaign log on to www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Is your pub holding an event to boost trade in the next few weeks? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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