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City pub raises a glass to mark anniversaries

PUBLISHED: 14:44 01 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:32 03 September 2014

Steve Fiske and owner Mike Lorenz celebrate their 20 year working relationship at the Whalebone pub in Norwich.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Steve Fiske and owner Mike Lorenz celebrate their 20 year working relationship at the Whalebone pub in Norwich. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

A popular Norwich pub is celebrating both the 20th anniversary of its official reopening and two decades at the helm by general manager Steve Fiske.

A number of events have been organised at the Magdalen Road pub, starting tomorrow, to commemorate the dual milestones.

These include An Evening with the Brewer tomorrow which will also include a surprise presentation to at least two customers who have been regulars at the Whalebone from the very start.

The following night, there will be a charity quiz night All About Dogs with all proceeds for the UK-based Greek Animal Rescue charity, which aims to help animals in Greece. and was nominated by two of the pub’s customers and dog owners.

The week’s events will culminate on Saturday with a party night with live entertainment featuring singer and guitarist Ria Ritchie plus pub DJ, Jay Wesley Irving. On Sunday, at a time to be announced later, pints will be at 1994 prices during a special “happy hour”.

Mr Fiske said: “I still remember the first time I came in here 20 years ago, when I was just 24. It was a bit daunting becoming general manager and a few friends came in with me to give me support. I cannot believe how quickly the 20 years have gone. A lot has changed running a pub in that time, but I’m happy and have no plans to do anything else.”

The Whalebone was bought from Courage Brewery in 1993 by Mike Lorenz and has since undergone major refits and additions which include a Mediterranean-style covered and heated terrace area, conservatory bar and the new malthouse room, which is a multi-functional drinking area and facility for business meetings and small private events. An original Bullards Brewery counter and back fitting have also been renovated over the years in the front bar.

Mr Lorenz said: “The Whalebone is where traditional pub meets modern wine bar and has become a thriving and popular meeting place in the heart of the community. We always have cask ales and crafted beers available plus a large selection of draught lagers and an extensive wine list. Whalebone customers also enjoy table service in all areas.”

Is your local pub celebrating an anniversary? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

For details of this week’s events at the pub visit www.whalebonefreehouse.co.uk

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