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New-look sports cafe takes aim at wider audience after refurb

PUBLISHED: 14:36 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 04 January 2019

Pasta dishes at the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: SPORTSPARK

Pasta dishes at the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: SPORTSPARK

Archant

The catering team one of at the UK’s biggest indoor sports venues is taking aim at a bigger slice of the dining-out pie following a £50,000 revamp.

An omlette at the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: SPORTSPARKAn omlette at the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: SPORTSPARK

And the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia’s Sportspark in Earlham has whipped up a new range of bites to cater not only for the venue’s naturally health-conscious clientele, but also for athletes wanting to treat themselves after a calorie-burning session.

Alex Sellers, catering manager, said everything on the menu was now “meticulously calorie counted” and aimed to offer something to please every taste.

Mr Sellers said: “We do homemade pizzas and pasta and we’ve got a burger called the full stack, which is a bit of a nod to weight training.

“We’ve got some really good vegetarian and vegan options as well, like a halloumi burger and a Sri Lankan curry with sweet potato, which is vegan.”

Alex Sellers, head of catering at the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: STUART ANDERSONAlex Sellers, head of catering at the Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Other offerings include a low-carb breakfast where spinach stands in for hash browns, a range of jacket potatoes and a fish finger sandwich with crispy goujons inside a ‘hearty’ rustic roll.

Mr Sellers added: “We’ve got a very mixed clientele, so we have our healthy foods - the salads and proteins and pasta for after sport. There’s a lot of grab-and-go as well.

“But at the same time, we find people still love a burger.”

Mr Sellers said part of the idea of the refurb, which saw the cafe’s number of covers jump from 146 to 220, was to open it up to a wider audience.

The new-look Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: SPORTSPARKThe new-look Sportscafe at the University of East Anglia's Sportspark in Norwich. Picture: SPORTSPARK

He said: “We’ve done a lot of work from the design point-of-view, so the idea is that you can come here for a meal and sit in a really nice environment even if you’re not doing sport.

“75pc of people who come in are students, but we’d really like to make more of the community aspect of it and become more of a fixture for people in the local area.”

The Sportspark each year welcomes 1.4 million users through its doors.

The Sportscafe is open daily from 7.30am and the kitchen serves until 9.30pm Monday-Thursday and 9pm Friday-Sunday.

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