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Restaurant with 1930s feel bids to open in former Norwich bank

PUBLISHED: 14:43 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:31 04 May 2018

Natwest, London Street. Photo: Steve Adams

Natwest, London Street. Photo: Steve Adams

A restaurant and bar chain describing itself as “mansion splendour meets village hall eccentricity” is bidding to move into a former bank in Norwich.

The former NatWest on London Street, Norwich, which could become a Cosy Club restaurant. Picture: David HannantThe former NatWest on London Street, Norwich, which could become a Cosy Club restaurant. Picture: David Hannant

National chain Cosy Club, which has 25 locations nationwide, has targeted the former NatWest building on London Street for its latest branch.

A planning application has been submitted to Norwich City Council on behalf of the company, looking for permission to turn the building into a restaurant.

Completed in 1925 and built specifically to be a bank, the building most recently housed NatWest, however it has been vacant since the branch closed in 2017, when the new branch on the corner of Davey Place and Gentleman’s Walk opened.

If the application is successful, Norwich will become Cosy Club’s second location in East Anglia, having already opened a site in the Buttermarket Shopping Centre in Ipswich.

The chain serves a variety of different dishes, including tapas, brunch and gluten-free meals, with 1930s-themed interiors.

As well as having a branch in Ipswich, it also has locations in Bristol, Liverpool and York – among others.

The design and access statement accompanying the application says: “The Cosy Club will be open throughout the day and into the evening, will be food-led and will have particular appeal to families – ‘vertical drinking’ is not encouraged.

“The hiring of locally-based staff and the increased footfall will inevitably aid the economy of nearby retail units, thus contributing to the economic sustainability of Norwich.”

The chain is run by a Bristol-based company called The Loungers Ltd, which is also responsible for a chain of restaurants called The Lounges.

The company website reads: “At Cosy Club, we serve up a sense of being somewhere special with a hint of nostalgia. Think mansion splendour meets village hall eccentricity.”

The building has Grade II listed status, with the applicant stating it has not been significantly altered internally since originally being built.

It has an extension to the west of the property, which the applicant describes as having “little architectural significance”.

The planning application, which was prepared by Richard Pedlar Architects, was submitted to Norwich City Council on Monday, April 30 and will be decided in due course.

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