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Yates' bar replaced by Slug and Lettuce

PUBLISHED: 16:44 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 12:16 07 May 2010

A trendy Norwich bar which has been shut since Easter is about to reopen at a new premises just two doors down after its previous owners went into administration.

A trendy Norwich bar which has been shut since Easter is about to reopen at a new premises just two doors down after its previous owners went into administration.

The doors of the contemporary gastro bar Slug and Lettuce, on Upper King Street, have been closed since Easter Monday after its parent group Laurel Pub Company went into administration.

The group also owned high street chain Yates', as well as Ha Ha and La Tasca, and the majority of its sites have now been taken over by two companies, Bay Restaurant Group and the Town and City Pub Company,

Norwich's Yates' was one of almost 90 venues owned by the Laurel Pub Company across the UK which had to be axed.

But now, the Slug and Lettuce has taken over the building, moving onto Queens Street into bigger premises, and will reopen tonightfrom 5.30pm.

Bar bosses have promised the new venue will make the stylish bar more popular than ever.

Chris Baylis, general manager, said: “It's still the old favourite but it's been brought up to date with sumptuous surroundings.

“It's very exciting to have this new investment and every penny has been very well spent and they've completely changed the structure of the bar.

“It's still a chameleon type bar where people can come for coffee during the day time, meet friends for lunch, come for cocktails after work, have food and drinks in the evening.”

Just over a quarter of a million pounds has been invested in transforming the former Yates' building within just 16 days.

The new bar has a feature wall, booth seating and a contemporary mosaic tiled partitioning separating it from a dedicated restaurant area where customers can enjoy new dishes created for the recently launched Spring/Summer menu and a large garden.

A spokeswoman for Bay Restaurant Group and the Town and City Pub Company, said it was a group decision to transform Yates' into a Slug and Lettuce because it was a bigger and better site.

She said: “We wanted to bring our latest Slug and Lettuce design to Norwich and thought the bigger store would be better to do that in and we think it will work very well.

“I'm not aware that it was because it was a loss making site and it certainly wasn't why the decision to convert it into a Slug and Lettuce was made.”

It is not yet known what will go into the old Slug and Lettuce building on Upper King Street.

Last month the Evening News reported how people were urged to use their local pub or lose it after it emerged the number of watering holes in Norwich had dwindled from 363 inside the city walls in 1905 to just 149 in the whole of the city by the end of 2007.

t Have you got a pub story for the Evening News? Call David Bale on 01603 7772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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