Wild Thyme owner announces re-opening after 'devastating' fire
PUBLISHED: 17:26 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 16 November 2018
Wild Thyme vegetarian and vegan restaurant, which was damaged in a fire earlier this year, is set to re-open with a "fabulous new menu and fresh ideas".
The restaurant, located in Labour in Vain Yard off Guildhall Hill, closed in April last year after a blaze which gutted the Rainbow Wholefoods Shop below caused smoke damage.
When owner Pip Wilkinson, aged 52 from Southrepps, walked into the shop after the fire she felt “devastated” as a layer of black covered her restaurant.
Wild Thyme has remained closed ever since, as most things had to be repaired or replaced, but the owner has announced it will re-open at the end of January to early February.
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“It was horrendous for everyone and an unbelievable experience.
“I didn’t realise the magnitude of it until later when I came back into the city and it was just devastating and there was a layer of black in the restaurant.
“The insurance company said I just needed to give it a clean and it would be up in a couple of weeks but they didn’t realise how bad it was.
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“All my furniture and fridges had to be thrown away, the floorboards sanded down and everything treated and cleaned and I’ve been dealing with three insurance companies.”
Whilst owner of Rainbow Wholefoods Richard Austin relocated to Lower Goat Lane a month later, Pip was unable to do that as all her stuff had been affected and she had just enough money to pay wages to her staff for two months.
She has also hired a loss assessor and even if she had a “magic wand” and the restaurant was repaired earlier, she couldn’t have opened anyway as the ceiling had to be torn down in the shop below.
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“A few things have happened since we closed and veganism has gone nuts and Erpingham House plant-based restaurant has opened but competition is healthy.
“There has been so much interest and we still get people trying to book a table everyday even though it says we are closed on the website.
“I’ve got some of my old team coming back and alongside a new head chef we are bringing a fabulous new menu and fresh ideas”.