This week’s Pub of the Week is the Earlham Arms in Earlham Road, Norwich

Evening News Pub of the Week, the Earlham Arms. Manageress Katie Hales and assistant manager Sophie

Evening News Pub of the Week, the Earlham Arms. Manageress Katie Hales and assistant manager Sophie Cook. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

'It's amazing to think that those girls have created this atmosphere,' a customer at the Earlham Arms said.

The girls she was referring to are Katie Hales, the manager, and her assistant, Sophie Cook.

And the atmosphere is one of the pub's main draws. The pub is somewhere where you feel you want to spend time and where you know that your patronage is going to be welcomed and appreciated.

I don't remember the previous incarnation of the Earlham Arms, which closed last year, and was, by all accounts, more of a student and sports pub with the requisite dart boards and other games.

While the new business is still very much a community pub with its dedicated regulars and homely feel, it's something else, as well.

The food is great, for one thing, and the staff are extra-friendly. Most pubs now realise that the service they offer has to be top notch to keep the customers coming in, but the staff here go that extra mile.

Another reason why it's so appealing might be because it's such a dog-friendly pub. People with pets tend to be more gregarious and open-minded than people without them. And Katie's dog, Sheba, also known as the pub dog, greets customers at the door.

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And the decor helps. The pillars may have come via ebay, but they look suitably impressive, and it's always nice to sit in a pub supping a pint while watching people go by.

But when you come down to it, the pub's appeal may be different for different people, so you'll probably have to visit to help explain it.

Katie said: 'When we opened we wanted it to be a city centre pub, for locals and serving great food. We wanted to attract diners and drinkers. There's a great market for real ales here - we do 15 real ales - and we felt the area was crying out for a decent place to eat. We also do hot and cold tapas.'

Plans for the forthcoming year at the pub include a running club, Sunday breakfast, a Spanish conversation club, afternoon cakes, and, weather permitting, barbecues.

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

To see more stories from the Love your Local campaign visit