Escape room plan revealed for former city restaurant

PUBLISHED: 11:09 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:46 28 January 2020

The former home of Cafe Rouge in Norwich will be turned into an escape room Credit: Archant

The former home of Cafe Rouge in Norwich will be turned into an escape room Credit: Archant


An international escape room company is to make Norwich its latest location in the home of a former city restaurant.

The former Café Rouge, in the Chapelfield centre, has been earmarked for a new venue by Escape Hunt, a multi-national escape room game with branches spread across the globe - from Adelaide in Australia to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Norwich City Council has approved plans for the venue, which will include five separate games rooms with varying themes - including one offering a virtual reality experience and another based on the legend of Aladdin.

It will take up space vacated by the French Bistro in September, which closed after its lease came to an end - despite bosses saying it had an "excellent" summer.

The venue will add to the growing number of escape rooms on offer in the city, which has been an ever-growing phenomenon in recent years.

Planning documents submitted to the city council say 'Escape Hunt' will create between seven to 10 full time job vacancies once it is up and running and will see a vacant unit which has been out of action for months brought back into use.

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The business will operate from 9am until 10pm seven days a week and will allow groups of between two and six to play individual games lasting around an hour.

The Norwich venue will add to dozens of Escape Hunt sites across the world, with the franchise's first location having opened in Singapore more than five years ago.

The company has since grown to add locations in several different countries across the world, including Argentina, Germany and Morocco. It currently has eight branches in the United Kingdom, in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and Reading.

Papers submitted to the city council on behalf of the company say: "The proposal will enhance the leisure offer within the city centre, contributing to the diverse range of complementary leisure and will be in keeping with the character and function of this part of the City Centre around Chapelfield Plain,

"It will enhance vitality and viability through reinstatement of an active use to this vacant unit, and indeed the street level frontage of the shopping centre itself."

It remains to be seen when the new escape room, which has planning permission, will open.

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