This week's Pub of the Week is Frank's Bar in Bedford Street, Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:22 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:07 01 March 2013

James Wingfield and Ella Williams at Frank's Bar in Norwich.  Photo: Bill Smith

James Wingfield and Ella Williams at Frank's Bar in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

The definition of a pub has changed quite a bit in recent years, but Frank's Bar meets most of the criteria that normally apply.

Frank's Bar in Norwich.  Photo: Bill SmithFrank's Bar in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Owner/managers James Wingfield and Ella Williams suggested that it was maybe a pub for the 21st century.

You can certainly get real ales – with two on draft plus bottles – and a range of beers and other drinks, even if a lot of the customers would probably rather enjoy a tea or coffee with cakes instead.

And the menus, which are decoratively on show at each table, offer a wide choice of drinks and food that could put many city pubs to shame.

Whether you want to call it a cafe/bar, cafe/bar/pub or whatever, I liked the atmosphere and layout of the place and, if you fancy a change from your local, it could also do the trick for you.

Miss Williams said the original idea for the business was partially inspired by a range of cafe/bars in east London that started up about five years ago.

Running the business was a dream come true for she and Mr Wingfield, although neither had trained for the role previously. In fact, he got a degree in multimedia design and hers was in film production.

“We wanted a laid-back ambience with a table service, which we have kept,” she said.

“That makes us quite unusual in Norwich. And we have exhibitions of paintings and prints on the walls, with manager Paul MacGowan responsible for the latest exhibition.”

She said the big draw of running her own cafe/bar was the regulars. “I like the people really and we have a lot of fun. We get different regulars coming in at different times.

“The definition of a pub has changed in recent years.

“I think we are a pub for the 21st century.

“We have been lucky in coming up with what people want.

“There is a generation of people who don’t want to go home at 11pm, but don’t want to go to Prince of Wales Road or Riverside, because it’s noisy or whatever, so they come in here, because we’re open late.”

The bar is also unusual in that every Sunday afternoon they screen films, which have become increasingly popular.

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit

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