Norwich taxi firm bids to open restaurant for drivers and customers

Mark Streeter, owner of Norwich taxi company Courtesy Taxis. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Mark Streeter, owner of Norwich taxi company Courtesy Taxis. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A taxi firm in Norwich city centre hopes to open a restaurant under its headquarters for customers, nearby businesses and drivers.

Courtesy Taxis has submitted a premises licence application to Norwich City Council over 77 Prince of Wales Road, which is underneath its 50-seat waiting area.

The application says: 'The restaurant will be laid out with 56 covers with its servery and payment counter in the middle of the space where the seating ends.

'Hot food and drink, snacks and sandwich type meals will be served from here. Food will be cooked and prepared in a bespoke kitchen area behind the servery.

'The intention is to provide coffee and snacks to drivers in the connected main taxi office whenever open, to businesses and walk-in customers during the day, to nearby workers and commuters in the early evening and then to customers while waiting for their taxi transport late at night and into the early hours.'

The application, lodged by managing director Mark Streeter and published on the city council's website, says food and non-alcoholic drinks would be available to eat in or take away.

Mr Streeter said it would be a continuation of its 'safe haven' office, where revellers are able to wait for their taxi in a safe environment at the end of their night.

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'It has worked, it's been a very good safe haven taxi office,' he said. 'People come here and stay safe, and the police like it.

'Everybody comes out [at the end of the night] and all they want to do is eat and go home. We are the go home bit, and if we can do the eating bit too it means it will be one safe and controlled area for them to go.'

He said the plans had been in the works since late September, and that there would be door staff at the restaurant.

Its proposed opening hours are listed as 8am to 5am, and until 7am over New Year's Eve.

The application was received on December 12, with people now having the opportunity to comment to the city council until January 17.

In 2013, the firm was part of a Channel 4 documentary showing the demands of running a taxi business.

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