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Today's Norwich Pub of the Week is the Heath House, a community pub

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 January 2012

Heath House, Gertrude Road, pub of the week. Landlord and owner, Malcolm McCann. Picture: Denise Bradley

Heath House, Gertrude Road, pub of the week. Landlord and owner, Malcolm McCann. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

There can't be many DJs running pubs, but Malcolm McCann still hosts retro nights at his popular local every two months to keep the punters happy.

He used to be the DJ at such legendary Norwich nightclubs as Scamps, Zoom on Prince of Wales Road, and Samson and Hercules in Tombland.

When he took on the Heath House he wanted to slow down, but he ended up doing 130 hour weeks, before he took his foot off the pedal, and he now takes it a bit easier.

He said when he took over the pub it was run-down with just two small bars but it’s now a decent-sized pub.

He spent about £100,000 initially doing it up, and it’s now a popular haunt for people in the area with 13 different clubs based at the venue.

That includes a bowls team that plays on the green outside, and several cribbage, pool and darts teams.

But Mr McCann is also up with the times with internet and playstation available at the pub.

Most of the regulars live within a short walking distance and one of them is a woman who has been a customer for about six decades, and was comfortably seated next to the cosy and warm fire when I visited.

Mr McCann used to be the tenant at the former Louis Marchesi pub, now Take 5, in Tombland.

He said: “I got out of the nightclub trade because there was too much competition from the big boys. I decided to retire and slow down, but ended up working even harder.

“When I first took over here I did not want to have disco nights and tried to avoid it, but I started doing retro nights here again last year.

I now do invitation only nights, which are always full, and I can pick and choose who comes in.”

The pub does food on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and does a very reasonably-priced and popular Sunday lunch.

“It’s a very friendly pub. It’s so friendly that some of the customers serve themselves,” Mr McCann said.

“We’ve got CCTV everywhere so people feel safe, and there’s good car parking.

“We have live music on Saturdays and bingo on Sunday nights. We’ve also got a piano in the pub and we do beer festivals once a year. “We do sell real ales but it tends to be more in the summer when the bowling season starts. We do fun days once a year when the darts team plays the bowls team.

“During the winter we also have a fire which is very popular and people can come in and keep warm.”

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

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

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