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Long-running American-themed diner Zaks sold

PUBLISHED: 14:41 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:42 02 February 2020

Zaks, Barrack Street. Pic: Zaks

Zaks, Barrack Street. Pic: Zaks

One of Norwich's longest running restaurants, Zaks, with three outlets, has been sold.

Zaks, Mousehold. Pic: ZaksZaks, Mousehold. Pic: Zaks

But the business has been bought by two people who've had a long history with the restaurant. The business has been sold to Neighbourhood Dining Limited - a firm owned and operated by Chris Carr and Ian Hacon, both of whom jointly ran the business for a number of years when working for Blue Sky Leisure.

UPDATED: New boss of Zaks vows to make restaurant 'everyone's favourite' again

Chris Carr. Pic; ArchantChris Carr. Pic; Archant

The Holiday Parks and Hospitality business, Blue Sky Leisure announced the sale of Zaks UK for an undisclosed sum.

MORE: What were the most expensive properties sold in Norwich?

Ian Hacon. Pic: ArchantIan Hacon. Pic: Archant

A spokesperson for Blue Sky Leisure said: "Zaks is a Norfolk institution and it's been an absolute privilege to have worked so closely with the Zaks brand and team for the last two decades. However, the time has come to pass on the reins.

"Ian and Chris have the energy, experience and enthusiasm needed to ensure the brand continues to delight the diners of Norwich and Norfolk, and we wish them and the team every success for the future."

Mr Carr, who led Zaks for 10 years between 2006 and 2016 and has more than 25 years in the hospitality sector, said: "Zaks is in my blood and I've never stopped being passionate about the brand. We've got a whole range of exciting ideas to take the business forward and I can't wait to carry on the mission to be everyone's favourite."

Mr Hacon, who was CEO of Blue Sky Leisure between 2005 and 2014 and owns local wellbeing firm Energise.me, said the opportunity to return to the business as joint owner was too good to miss.

Ian Hacon at Zaks, back in 2013. Pic: Archant library.Ian Hacon at Zaks, back in 2013. Pic: Archant library.

"Zaks is all about bringing people together," he said adding: "I truly believe there is a strong need for a community-focused local brand in this sector dominated by national brands."

Zaks started life in 1976 when local musician and entrepreneur Harvey Platt started serving up its famous foil-wrapped burgers from the iconic van in Norwich. It operates restaurants in Gurney Road, Mousehold Heath, Barrack Street and The Street, Poringland.

The business was bought by Blue Sky Leisure in 1998.

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