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'Sorry we didn't succeed' - Owners of Norwich restaurant apologise as business closes after seven months

PUBLISHED: 07:34 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:06 01 February 2018

James Sawrey-Cookson and Ecky Limon, who own E Street Smokehouse. Picture: Newman Associates PR

James Sawrey-Cookson and Ecky Limon, who own E Street Smokehouse. Picture: Newman Associates PR

Archant

A Norwich city centre restaurant has closed after less than a year of trading.

E Street Smokehouse on Exchange Street. Picture: Newman Associates PRE Street Smokehouse on Exchange Street. Picture: Newman Associates PR

E Street Smokehouse on Exchange Street has shut its doors to customers for the final time.

Formerly the Dray Yard Smokehouse, the establishment, where diners could tuck into meals cooked over coals, opened on July, 6 2017.

The restaurant was the latest venture from James Sawrey-Cookson and Ecky Limon, directors of holding company, Last Wine Bars Ltd.

As well as E Street Smokehouse, the pair also have The Last Wine Bar in St George’s Street and Mr Limon owns Blue Joanna Bar and Kitchen on Unthank Road.

In December the holding company restructured amidst financial problems.

A spokesman for E Street Smokehouse said: “It is with great regret that we are announcing the closure of E Street Smokehouse on Exchange Street.

“Like others before us, we have attempted to bring locally-owned and independent eateries into the city centre - and like others before us, we have found the tough economic climate, and the relentless march of corporate chain restaurants with deeper pockets than we can ever hope for, impossible to compete with.

“So we have decided to concentrate on our core business, The Last Wine Bar, which through 28 years of trading has proven itself to be resilient against a succession of recessions, competition and foodie fads. We want to reassure you that it’s very much business as usual at The Last and we are looking forward to many more years doing what we do in St George’s Street.

“We are taking as many members of E Street staff as we can to join the team at The Last, for the small number we can’t accommodate we are doing everything we can to find them new positions within the restaurant trade in Norwich.”

They added: “Inevitably in the restaurant business, some establishments will achieve longevity, and others will fall by the wayside. At E Street we took over a struggling business and tried our hardest to make it work. We are sorry that we didn’t succeed – but we make no excuses for trying.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported E Street since it opened, and to those who continue to support The Last in such numbers - and we look forward to welcoming you at St George’s Street soon.”

Blue Joanna Bar and Kitchen remains open as usual.

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