City centre café seeks permission to expand into former smokehouse

Café 33 on Exchange Street Norwich Picture: David Hannant

Café 33 on Exchange Street Norwich Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A city centre café is bidding to expand into space vacated twice by smokehouse businesses.

Café 33, on Exchange Street in Norwich, has lodged a planning application to break through into the building next door, increasing its own space.

The property next door - 31 Exchange Street - was most recently home to E Street Smokehouse restaurant, which was run by the owners of the Last Wine Bar.

However, this restaurant closed in February, after owners admitted it was difficult to compete with 'the relentless march of corporate chain restaurants with deeper pockets'.

The building was also previously home to Dray Yard Smokehouse, a barbecue restaurant which was open between November 2013 and May 2017.

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Prior to becoming a restaurant, the building was home to Elkin Music, which sold musical instruments and sheet music.

The application's design and access statement states the plan will allow the café to improve its kitchen and front service counter, while also adding additional seating.

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It says: 'Café 33 has been trading since 2006. Internal finishes and materials will be sympathetic to the character of the building and existing café.

'Continuity will be provided through a continuation of the café style, with free-standing seating, counters and wood flooring.'

The application also sets out that the external appearance of the building - which has Grade II listed status - will not be altered.

The expansion will be carried out by demolishing block work and plasterboard separating the two premises, not impacting on the building's original brick work.

It would also allow the café to provide seating for around 20 extra people.

The café, which has been in the city for 12 years, was last year named in a national newspaper's top 50 places for breakfast in the United Kingdom - the only place in Norfolk to make the list.

The application was submitted to Norwich City Council on May 14 and was validated by officers this week.

A public consultation into the proposal opened on Wednesday, May 23, with anybody wishing to submit a comment on it able to do so through Norwich City Council's website.

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