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American themed family restaurant opens at Wroxham bridge

PUBLISHED: 10:53 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 18 August 2017

From left to right: Jamie Moore, Mark Eames and Mandy Eames at The Bridge American Restaurant. Picture: Andrew Stone

From left to right: Jamie Moore, Mark Eames and Mandy Eames at The Bridge American Restaurant. Picture: Andrew Stone

Archant

Two years after it closed, The Bridge Restaurant at Wroxham has finally reopened its doors following a £1m investment.

The Bridge American Restaurant owner Mark Eames. Picture: Andrew StoneThe Bridge American Restaurant owner Mark Eames. Picture: Andrew Stone

Diners visiting the new facility, which has officially been renamed The Bridge American Restaurant, will not recognise it as the old building was completely demolished and a smart new timber structure erected in its place. Owner Mark Eames bought The Bridge Restaurant in 2015 after it closed and set about drafting plans for his new two-storey building which would offer more space for diners.

“We officially opened on August 11 and so far it’s been very good,” he said. “It has been a learning curve but the feedback we have received via social media has been great.”

The new facility can seat 130 people and consists of an upstairs American-style diner with a restaurant and deck below overlooking the River Bure.

“We get all ages visiting Wroxham so we wanted to create an American themed family restaurant with a varied menu catering for most tastes,” he said.

A view from the deck of Wroxham Bridge. Picture: Andrew StoneA view from the deck of Wroxham Bridge. Picture: Andrew Stone

“American themed establishments always seem to do well and there’s nothing really like this around here so we’re pretty unique in the area.”

Mr Eames, who has worked in the electrical and construction industries for the past 30 years, said the old restaurant had already closed when he bought the premises in 2015.

He applied to the Broads Authority for permission to demolish the old building and construct a new restaurant.

“We held meetings with the Broads Authority explaining what we wanted to do and I have to say that they - and English Heritage - were very supportive.

The Bridge American Restaurant. Picture: Andrew StoneThe Bridge American Restaurant. Picture: Andrew Stone

“There were so many hoops we had to jump through to get to this point but everyone has been really helpful and came with some great design ideas that we implemented.”

Mr Eames - who, with another, set up the The Waterside café and tearoom at Rollesby, near Great Yarmouth - said the site for the new restaurant was “a prime spot”.

It is located right next to Wroxham Bridge and is accessed via Norwich Road.

The brick and stone bridge was built in 1619 replacing a bridge built in 1576, which itself replaced an earlier, probably wooden, structure. It is considered to be the second most difficult on the Broads to navigate.

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