Former home of The Owl Sanctuary in Norwich could become pub and restaurant in 2017

Norwich South M.P Clive Lewis giving Owl Sanctuary manager Dan Hawcroft his support to try and preve

Norwich South M.P Clive Lewis giving Owl Sanctuary manager Dan Hawcroft his support to try and prevent the closure of the popular city centre pub and music venue. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

The former home of a popular city rock bar could be transformed into a new pub and restaurant in the new year.

The former Owl Sanctuary. Photo by Simon Finlay.

The former Owl Sanctuary. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Back in January, The Owl Sanctuary moved out of the Cattle Market Street venue after it was sold to a new owner.

It started a widespread social media campaign to protect the building by getting it listed as an Asset of Community Value.

While the Owl Sanctuary relocated to Timber Hill in February, its former venue has been empty for almost 12 months.

But owner Richard Pratt has revealed the building could become a new 'mid-market' pub and restaurant in 2017.


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'We would be hoping for the pub to reopen fairly soon,' he said. 'Certainly within the next 12 months, if not within three or four.'

Mr Pratt, who also owns the building next door, which is occupied by Warings, said the venue needed 'a lot' of structural work.

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He said he would have to spend a six-figure sum to refurbish the building before anyone can move in.

It would include the possible installation of a new kitchen in the cellar.

'It is in a hell of a state,' he said. 'It has been on the back burner for so long because of the dilapidation.

'But it was never a case of closing the pub.'

Mr Pratt said there had been a number of reasons for a delay in moving in a new landlord.

One of them had been the fall-out surrounding the closure of the Owl Sanctuary, which could have affected business.

Mr Pratt said he would be meeting the prospective new landlord in the new year.

Are fighting to protect a pub? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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