Norwich shops join in with football fever, while some restaurants decide to close early
PUBLISHED: 16:47 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:33 12 July 2018
Shops and businesses have been joining in with the football fever building in Norwich by donning England shirts and decorating their windows with flags.
At The Pottergate Pantry in the Norwich Lanes, owner Carl Forder said he believed displaying support for the Three Lions had boosted his business, by bringing in people keen to talk about the England team’s progression in the World Cup.
He said: “We’ve supported England all the way through for 35 years. It’s coming home.”
With the semi-final taking place tonight, more buildings across the city have been decked out in England bunting.
Stallholders at the city’s popular market, say they have experienced an increase in sales due to football spirit.
“The atmosphere has blossomed. We’ve noticed flags we’ve had for years suddenly selling,” said a spokeswoman for the marketplace.
Louise Green, from the Beaujangles shop in Lower Goat Lane, said they had sold a lot of face paint and hairspray to football fans.
However, restaurants across Norwich are expecting a slow evening tonight, with some closing early ahead of the England vs Croatia World Cup semi-final showdown.
While many pubs are preparing to open their doors to football fans, some eateries are closing theirs at a much earlier time than usual.
“We normally close at nine but we’re closing at six tonight,” said Danielle Barrett from Captain America’s Hamburger Heaven in Exchange Street.
“It’s not worth staying open because of the football,” she added.
Jamie’s Italian is still bringing in customers despite not showing the highly-anticipated match according to Stephen Bridgeman, from the Royal Arcade-based venue.
He said: “We have a deal that if England scores we give people eating here a free glass of prosecco, we try and get around the fact we don’t have screens.”
And clearly not everyone wants to be watching the football tonight, with a spokesman from The Library Bar and Grill saying that “business is expected to be busy tonight, we’ve had a number of reservations”.