Pop-up Italian restaurant to open in Fakenham

Liam O' Sullivan, owner of The Gallery Bistro in Fakenham, will be bringing a pop-up Italian restaur

Liam O' Sullivan, owner of The Gallery Bistro in Fakenham, will be bringing a pop-up Italian restaurant to the town. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A new Italian restaurant is to open in Fakenham - but for one night only.

Gallery Bistro in the town's market place is to open a pop-up restaurant for the second time after successfully trialling the idea.

It hosted Patrick's pop-up restaurant on November 29, serving slow roasted joints.

And with pubs across the country closing at a rapid rate, Gallery Bistro owner Liam O'Sullivan believes diversification is key to ensuring venues are able to buck the trend and thrive.

Office for National Statistics figures reveal 145 pubs and bars across Norfolk shut between 2010 and 2017.

Mr O'Sullivan, 41, said: 'People need more of a reason to go out these days and landlords need to be creative to continue to attract customers.

'It is sad to see so many pubs closing but I think many can have a good future if owners and landlords can find new ways to meet people's expectations.

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'It's good for society as whole to have a vibrant pub culture where there is a good community spirit and people are more sociable.'

He added: 'Our first pop-up restaurant was a great success and was fully booked.

'We received some great feedback and people there were already asking if we will do it again.

'We will be hosting an Italian-themed restaurant next and then I expect we will start to do more, on a more regular basis, in the future.'

The number of small pubs in the region has plummeted since the turn of the millennium.

The Economies of Ale report from the Office for National Statistics shows that, overall, Norfolk and Waveney have lost 23pc of their pubs since 2001, down from 860 to 660, slightly below the United Kingdom-wide figure of 26pc.

Areas which have lost the most pubs include Broadland, 35pc, Great Yarmouth, 33pc and west Norfolk, 26pc, though Norwich has lost 24pc and Breckland, South Norfolk and Waveney have 20pc less. In north Norfolk, that figure is just 5pc.

The Italian restaurant will be at Gallery Bistro on Thursday, December 13, from 7pm. Places are still available.

There will also be a wine tasting evening on Friday, December 14. Tickets are £9.50 each including a light buffet.

For more information, call Gallery Bistro on 01328 855000.