Today’s Norwich Pub of the Week is the Lakenham Cock in Long John Hill
- Credit: Archant © 2013
Barry Blazey fulfilled a boyhood dream when he took over the Lakenham Cock.
He grew up in nearby Cranage Road and the pub was his local when he was growing up.
But it was 40 years later that he got the chance, two years ago, to take it over.
'My life has come full circle,' he said, pointing out Cranage Road and his boyhood haunts through the pub window.
'I was born here, went away, did my bit, and came back to Norwich 40 years later.
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'This was my old local. We used to come here when it was known as the Old Cock pub.
'And then landlord Brian Robinson made it into the pub it is now.'
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He's in partnership at the pub with Paul Evans and Jackie Daniels, but the pub is owned by Enterprise Inns.
When he took over he admitted the pub had a bad name, which it still has to a certain degree, even if it's unwarranted.
He said: 'When we came in we changed the clientele. The age group now is 30s, 40s, 50s and upwards. We don't want the kids in here.'
He loves the Beatles and pictures of the group adorn the pub walls. There's a very authentic looking signed copy of the band's second album, With The Beatles by the bar, but it's a fake.
Prior to running the Cock, Mr Blazey had his own catering business supplying pubs with everything from glasses to tableware. In the 1980s he worked alongside chef Gordon Ramsay in London at the Mayfair Intercontinental hotel, and they were once roommates on a trip to Prague in about 1986.
The pub has a men's pool team and ladies' darts team and offers live music, but not live football.
Times are hard at pubs, he admits, but he added: 'January and February are killer months, so if you survive them, the saying goes that you will still be around at Christmas.'
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 www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal