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‘It’s like a film set’ - Take a look inside Bill’s Norwich after huge refurbishment

PUBLISHED: 11:51 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 09 November 2018

Bill Collison, owner of Bills, in the newly refurbished Norwich restaurant Credit: Mike Harrington

Bill Collison, owner of Bills, in the newly refurbished Norwich restaurant Credit: Mike Harrington

Archant

Bill’s restaurant in the city has relaunched with a new menu and look after undergoing a week-long refurbishment.

Bill’s, located at the Back of the Inns, reopened on Monday, November 5 as owner Bill Collison aims to make it as popular in the evenings as it is for breakfast and brunch.

The new look Norwich restaurant has used vibrant colours, cosy booths and quirky touches purchased by Bill himself, including finds from antique shops and art from around his home.

Mr Collison picked Norwich as one of his ten restaurants for refurbishment as he loves the city and his son Alfie studies Sports Science at UEA too.

He first opened a greengrocers in Lewes in East Sussex in 2000 which expanded into the two neighbouring units and became Bill’s following floods in the town.

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Despite there now being 83 Bill’s across the UK and 21 in London, Mr Collison still thinks of Bill’s as an independent restaurant.

“If I had to sum up Norwich it would be a cross between Lewes and Brighton together - it has a bit of a seaside feel to it but also market town feel too and both those places are very dear to me.

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“I am a family restaurant and still there thinking of Bill’s is an independent - I change things daily and my team will tell you I’m a nightmare as I get all the emotions an independent restaurant owner would get.”

The restaurant is already a popular spot for breakfast and brunch, but Mr Collison hopes the new look will help increase evening trade,

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Whilst the owners of restaurants such as Carluccio’s and Prezzo have recently closed branches, he has instead decided to invest.

“We’ve been here for a while now and have an amazing team of people who are very kind and passionate about what they do.

“There has been a headwind in the restaurant industry and it has been difficult for everyone to forge ahead so what normally happens is people go backwards and cut costs.

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“I think we all forgot what restaurants were about the industry tried to make it easier for themselves and we were guilty of that too.

The team at Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonThe team at Bills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

“That was alright when the wind was in your sales and everyone was happy to spend but now what really matters is guest experience.

“Me and my business partner thought this is the time to become stronger instead of make cuts.

“We have an amazing space upstairs here but it was more like my kitchen and very daytime and we knew we had a gap in the market as we have a lovely dinner menu.

“It’s like a film set and we’ve added in little touches to make everything better.”

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

Bills Norwich Credit: Mike HarringtonBills Norwich Credit: Mike Harrington

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