New Viennese-style cafe bar in former bank is given go-ahead

Norwich City Council has said 12, Bank Street in Norwich can be turned into a cafe bar. Pic: Google

Norwich City Council has said 12, Bank Street in Norwich can be turned into a cafe bar. Pic: Google Street View. - Credit: Google Street View

A new European-style cafe bar has been given the go-ahead, inside a former bank in Norwich city centre.

Permission to change the use of the building in Bank Street has been granted by planning officers at Norwich City Council.

The city council officers have agreed that applicants Idiosyncrasy can change the ground floor of 12, Bank Street into the cafe bar.

The former bank was, most recently, occupied by recruitment company DRS, but that closed a year ago.

In documents lodged with City Hall, the applicants state that they wanted to offer something different to more mature customers - a business modelled on a traditional Viennese cafe bar.

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They said: “Extensive qualitative research suggests that there is a perceived lack of choice in the city’s late night economy among a more mature customer group, with the clubs and bars of nearby Prince of Wales Road described as a ‘no go area’ by many.

“The proposal would see the creation of a European style cafe bar offering a relaxed environment to facilitate social interaction and conversation.”

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They said evenings would offer a selection of wines, beers and spirits, as well as non-alcoholic drink, with low volume recorded classical, jazz and retro music “enabling conversation”.

The opening hours would be between 8am and 11pm Sundays to Thursdays and until 2.30pm on Friday and Saturdays.

And the applicants said: “We anticipate employing a minimum of 4.5 equivalent full-time staff, thus offering employment opportunities on what has become a street of empty offices adjacent to the improvement works of the Bank Plain street scene.”

And they said it would open up more of Norwich’s heritage. They said: “The ground floor at number 12 contains a fine example of a walk-in vault which lies hidden under layers of paint.

“We intend to sympathetically restore this feature and use it as a visible wine store as well as stripping back modern wall coverings to reveal well preserved cornicing and fireplaces.

“We believe that revealing this hidden aspect the city’s history to the public will be a significant addition to Norwich’s distinctive character.”

Officers granted permission, pending further details on sound limiting.

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