Boutique bowling alley set to open in Norwich after council give go ahead

The alley plans to move into the former Merge restaurant. Picture Densie Bradley.

The alley plans to move into the former Merge restaurant. Picture Densie Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A boutique bowling alley and restaurant is set to open in Norwich after the council approved plans for the development.

The alley would be situated on the ground floor of the former Merge restaurant on Dereham Road in the city after the all-you-can-eat Asian buffet closed its doors in November of last year.

Norwich City Council approved the application by Bowling House Ltd on August 18.

MORE: Bowling alley and restaurant planned for former Merge restaurant on Dereham Road in Norwich

Speaking about the development earlier this year Jack Thompson, director of Bowling House Ltd, said: 'By boutique we refer to an intimate venue with only five lanes designed more as a intimate experience.

'The bar will be serving the best in wines, beers, spirits and cocktails.

'The set up will be more adult orientated and less family driven as per the multi lane operations in and around Norwich currently. We think the venue will work well for groups, parties and couples. The food offer will be set up for sharing using fresh, local ingredients taking inspiration from classic modern dishes.'

The application stated the alley would be open from 9am to midnight on Monday Friday, and Sundays and bank holidays. It would open between 9am and 2am on Saturdays.

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The Merge restaurant hit headlines in 2015 as one of only a handful of venues in the city to receive a zero hygiene rating. While it had soon turned around its rating, it eventually closed its doors last November.

Originally the Regal cinema, it housed a bingo hall and casino before becoming derelict and then being taken over by the Wetherspoon's pub chain, which opened it as the City Gates pub in 1999.

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