Grade II-listed former American diner in Yarmouth could be bought by preservation trust

The former Fatsos restaurant building on King Street. Picture: James Bass

The former Fatsos restaurant building on King Street. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A former restaurant could be set to be repaired, enhanced and reopened for residential and commercial use after borough councillors agreed to loan a charity the money to buy it.

The former Fatsos restaurant building on King Street.Picture: James Bass

The former Fatsos restaurant building on King Street.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's policy and resources committee agreed to lend £130,000 to the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust so they could try to purchase the former Fatso's restaurant on King Street.

The American diner closed in February, and is up for auction next month.

A report seen by councillors said: 'Number 33 King Street (former Fatso's restaurant) is a grade II listed building currently vacant. The building occupies an important corner site in King Street and significantly affects the setting of the grade I listed St George's Theatre and Plaza. Number 33 is currently for sale and recently failed to make its reserve price at auction.'

The property had a guide price of £175,000 at an auction on April 7, at Dunston Hall, Norwich. But on the day the final bid put in was for £149,500.

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It's unclear what the reserve at the time was but the guide price is now showing online on Rightmove at £150,000.

And in the auction catalogue it said had been used as a restaurant for more than 20 years, but an application had been put in to turn it back into homes.

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The preservation trust would use the loan to buy the building, and then use £100,000 on unused Heritage Lottery Grant funding to do the renovations.

The set up would be similar to that of other loans granted by the council, which saw the purchase of 133 and 135 King Street.

The loans are then paid back using the money generated from the buildings.

The report said: 'This approach has a number of positive benefits and outcomes. It secures and maintains the important historic building stock of the town, it generates sustainable and viable uses for vacant buildings and makes a significant contribution to the regeneration of King Street and the town.'

Number 133 King Street reopened in January 2016 as Skippings Gallery, and 135 King Street was converted to an office and flats.

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust project director Darren Barker said 33 King Street was an 18th century building, which had most likely been a merchant's house in a past life.

He said: 'If the sale goes through we would look to undertake full repair of the building, remove the modern paint to match the rest of the area.

He said the best use of the building would probably be a mixture of uses.

'It's quite a big buildings inside,' he said. And added there would most likely be residential properties, offices and maybe a small restaurant.'

The property is listed to go up for auction again on September 15.

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