Cocktail bar gets go ahead for vegan street celebration

Former NUA student Greg Williams is set to open a bar and antiques shop on St Benedicts Street, Norw

Greg Williams and his dog Dylan. Greg has just got the go-ahead to hold drinks and food outside at the front of Arboretum next month. - Credit: Archant

The owner of a Norwich bar in a curiosity shop is saying 'cheers' after getting the green light to hold street celebrations.

Greg Williams, who runs Arboretum, St Benedicts Street, successfully obtained a 'pavement licence' meaning the outdoor offering with hale bales, bunting and cider can go ahead.

Arboretum cocktail bar, Norwich

The outside area at Arboretum. The bar has just been granted a licence to have drinks and food at the front on St Benedicts Street too. - Credit: Arboretum

Mr Williams is teaming up with the Tipsy Vegan restaurant which is providing the food - and as a result, has pledged to make all the drinks served on the street vegan too.

The street events will start from Thursday, April 15 after lockdown starts to ease outdoors.

Greg Williams, owner of Arboretum, St Benedicts Street, Norwich

Greg Williams - Credit: Arboretum

Mr Williams said: "We have been approved, so we are good to go on hay bales, bunting and many ciders from mid-April. We'll be providing the beverages, and The Tipsy Vegan will be providing the food, so it is undoubtedly going to be a huge event.

"Due to this partnership, we will be ensuring that all drinks we serve out the front will also be vegan, so everyone can join in."

The idea is to open on Thursdays-Saturdays initially with food and drink using the bar's current outside area as well as utilise the current parking spaces at the front of the building. 

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The new pavement licence from Norwich City Council allows removable furniture to be placed adjacent to premises. A new streamlined process means businesses can secure these licences quicker than usual and they can remain in place for up to the end of September.

The idea comes after problems occurred last year when some restaurants and cafes put out chairs and tables in St Benedicts Street after a traffic ban was imposed. However, it resulted in complaints from people living above some of the shops as well as concerns over traffic disruption.

Aboretum cocktail bar, St Benedicts Street, Norwich

Arboretum in St Benedicts Street - Credit: Archant

But the Arboretum street events will be different as nothing is being placed on the actual street.

If the initial Thursday-Saturday opening goes well, Mr Williams said he would consider reopening for seven days a week.

He opened Arboretum in 43, St Benedicts Street in 2018 which is a cocktail bar in an antiques/curiosity shop. He offers cocktails made from old fashioned Victorian recipes but has been closed because of coronavirus.

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