Car park at empty pub hosts street food stalls
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
Street food stalls have breathed new life into an empty pub site near Norwich.
South African and Spanish food is being served from the car park of The Buck Inn, on Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew.
The River Yare facing pub, which is currently up far sale, has been vacant since October 2017.
Adam Davies, owner of The Durban Grill, has been pitching up his van at the pub since the start of the second lockdown and said it had helped the business “stay afloat.”
Mr Davies, along with Churros and Chorizo, was invited to use the space by pub owners Black Orange Investment.
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He said: “We lost all of our bookings over Christmas because of this lockdown, having previously lost all of our bookings in the first one.
“It has been really great to be able to use the space and it has kept our heads above water.”
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Mr Davies, who also serves food from his van at Oakland Organic Eggs in Horsford, said it had been heartwarming to see people pulling together.
He added: “People have been really supportive and really feel for local businesses. I can’t thank them enough for keeping us going and, although I don’t want to speak for others, I’m sure other business owners feel them same.”
Nick Brewer, owner of Churros and Chorizo, has been selling food from the pub since the end of September and said it was “brilliant for business”.
He said: “It meant that when the second lockdown came around it was not so daunting as we had everything in place, and could fill our calendar and replace cancellations.”
Mr Brewer, who takes his van all over Norfolk to places such as the Park Farm Hotel and Leisure in Hethersett and Ragged Robin Florist in Wymondham, said the response from customers has been “bonkers.”
He added: “We now have half a dozen people we feed every single week and we’ve tapped into a WhatsApp group and the local scene. The support has been fantastic.”
The stalls come after the owners, Black Orange Investment, lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate to keep controversial ANPR cameras in the car park.
They were installed in February without planning permission and Broadland District Council ordered them to be taken down.
In response, Robert Macdonald, an estates manager at Black Orange Investments, said: “The planning application is ongoing.”
The Buck Inn closed in October 2017 and was bought by Black Orange Investments in 2019.
Black Orange Investment have been contacted for comment about the stalls.