Wine shop opens in Norwich

A Victorian building which once housed a model shop in Norwich has now reopened as a wine merchants after objections to the plans were withdrawn.

William Mason Fine Wines had wanted to open a store in the glass fronted Crystal House on Cattle Market Street at the beginning of the month.

But the Hingham-based wine merchants' application for a three month lease at the property, home to Keller's Model Marque for more than 20 years, had to be put on hold after four people objected.

But a licensing hearing scheduled for next week to give the objectors the chance to have their say will not now take place after a change of heart by those opposed to the plans.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: 'All the objections we received have now been withdrawn. Under these circumstances this requires the license to be granted.'

William Mason, who founded the company back in 1995, said he visited all of the objectors to allay their fears over the application.

He said: 'There were some concerns raised by a very small number of local residents. However, I have taken an active interest in reassuring them that we have an established reputation as a merchant of fine wines that retail at upwards of �5 per bottle. 'We appreciate that residents have had problems with anti-social behaviour but we will not be stocking low-cost products such as cider and alco-pops that are commonly associated with binge drinking.

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'William Mason Wines' Norwich based shop is aiming to bring the selection of fine wines usually found on our website or in our Hingham based shop to the city in order to provide customers with a convenient place to buy their Christmas and New Year wine selection.'

The temporary pop-up shop, which opened yesterday<fri/19>, will employ three staff, would have a full range of wines and champagnes as well as gift ideas for Christmas with house wine starting from �4.95.

It will open six days a week, 10am to 7pm and late night Thursdays, throughout November and will be open seven days a week in December.

There would also be an opportunity for customers to try a selected range of wines before they buy them and the store will have free car parking for customer collections.

As previously reported the Crystal House building, which was originally used as a showroom for steam engines, housed Keller's Model Marque from 1988 until it closed in May.

<t> For more information about William Mason Fine Wines call 01953 850888/07980 390655 or visit

<t> Are you opening a new business in a historic city building? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email