July 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 17, 2012
If you have not been to the Reindeer in Dereham Road for a while, then you will be impressed by its new look.
I remember the pub from many years ago as being dank and dingy, but the new incarnation is spacious, bright and airy, and it looks five times as big inside. There are also seating areas both at the front on Dereham Road and at the back.
The transformation is down to brother and sister Danny and Kate Searle, who also run the Rumsey Wells in St Andrew’s, Norwich.
It’s the only Elgood’s brewery pub in Norwich, and, being just a five minute walk from the city centre, on the other side of the Grapes Hill traffic lights, Dan Searle likes to consider the pub as an extension of St Benedicts Street, which is famed for its pubs, such as The Plough and The Ten Bells and its lovely coffee shops.
He said: “From the minute we moved in we embraced the fact that it was a big pub, and we wanted to have a really strong team.
“Our bar manager Scott McBride was manager at the Wig and Pen for about nine years, and then set up the Plasterers Arms.
“We then found Mel Frith who’s originally from Suffolk but has come back from Western Australia. She’s passionate about food and has done a lot of barista competitions. And our head chef is Simon Walton.
“My sister and I also always wanted to work with really great British food. We are passionate about food and beer, which is the reason we came here.”
Prior to their arrival the pub had several different managers over a short period of time, but this team is here to stay.
“We’ve been here just eight months but we have already put in so much time and energy,” Mr Searle said. “We have put in new seating out the front, and are doing everything bit by bit. We are now working on the backroom, where there used to be a microbrewery, which we plan to open up soon as a function room. We would love to have it back as a brewery some day, but not at the moment.”
The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
For more stories about the campaign visit www.evening news24.co.uk/loveyourlocal