Popular Norwich pub celebrates 10th annniversary

Popular Norwich pub celebrates 10th annniversary

When the Belgian Monk started locals took a bit of time getting used to its new concept of food and drink – but the popular Norwich restaurant and pub is now celebrating its 10th anniversary after building up a loyal clientele.

Much of the Pottergate watering hole's success has undoubtedly been down to its ability to shift a quarter of a ton of mussels every week, but the exclusive Belgian beer it serves also brings punters back for more.

Since opening in December 2000 it has been run by business partners Linda Smith and Terry Hughes, who said they were proud in today's economic climate to still be around after 10 years.

Mr Hughes said: 'We have tried to ensure that the authenticity of the pub has continued. Everything we do is like it would be in Belgium. We don't do it on a pretend basis – the experience we offer is what you get in Belgium.

'And we offer product that you cannot get anywhere else, with our Belgian cherry brew exclusive to us.'

He said they offered 30 choices of mussels and shifted a quarter of a ton of mussels every week,

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He added: 'We go to Belgium two to three times a month and bring the beer back in a truck. We have built up a loyal customer base of people who enjoy the quality rather than the quantity of beer.'

The pub started as part of a chain with other venues in Cheltenham and Salisbury working in conjunction with a Belgian brewery.

But when the brewery was taken over by a UK company, they decided that Norwich had the most potential out of the three pubs and gave up the other two.

Mr Hughes added: 'When we first started it took a while for people to accept something that was, especially with the beer, different.

'I'm not from around here but Linda said to give it time, as change takes time, and after a while people took to us and kept coming back.'

The pub has also managed to survive the recent tough economic times that have signalled the deathknells for many other establishments, and trade has remained on an even keel for the last year, despite the TV-free pub suffering a hit during the World Cup.

The Belgian Monk, which is based in a 17th century building, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on December 14, but won't probably celebrate the birthday until January.

The Evening News has been urging punters to return to pubs as part of our Love Your Local campaign.

<t> To see more stories from the campaign, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

<t> Have you got a pub story? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.