Zaks reopens mobile burger van to kick off city's 'biggest weekend'
- Credit: Jess Coppins
The owners of Zaks have reopened their Waterside restaurant - with 'Lil Blue' - in readiness for huge bookings in Norwich for eating outside.
Chris Carr and Ian Hacon, who took over the US-themed diner restaurants just before Covid struck, have finally parked up their new mobile burger van in the car park at their Barrack Street venue.
It comes as Norwich restaurant, cafe, pub and bar owners are bracing themselves for a huge weekend in terms of business with most venues completely booked up for alfresco dining.
This weekend is the first when venues can reopen outside since lockdown.
Zaks Waterside, which has been closed since Christmas, is selling its renowned foil wrapped burgers with walk-in seats in the car park as well as a newly adapted riverside terrace. With new patio heaters and even golf umbrellas which can be fixed to the tables if it rains, Zaks Waterside is open for business whatever the weather.
Like other businesses, they are full up for Friday and Saturday with more than 400 diners booked in such is the demand to go out for meal and a drink away from the home after lockdown.
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Chris Carr, co-owner of Zaks, said: "We've reinvented Waterside and we now have an outside bar and a mobile burger van.
"Lockdown was tough but it has created huge innovation; who would have thought Zaks would be selling clothes which we now do..hoodies and t-shirts? And of course, we have a nostalgic touch in opening 'Lil Blue' for foil wrapped burgers like Zaks did 30 years ago."
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The outside offering at Zaks Waterside also includes Redwell steam lager and Wherry on keg with the bar and burger van open Fridays-Sundays.
At the other Zaks venues, in Mousehold Heath, food and drink is available for takeaway to eat on the heath and at Poringland, there's a 'drive and stay' with a takeaway service and garden where you can dine.
Mr Hacon said: "We're calling Waterside the 'Sunset bar' because you can watch the sun set over the river and from May 17 we hope to have Big Red, our larger mobile van on tour around the city just like the old days.
"Zaks has been so well supported by the public, we have a place in people's hearts and we're a bit like a comfy jumper, so we hope people enjoy us bringing back the mobile van.
"Lockdown was tough but it's hard to say we've suffered losses instead it has created opportunities."