Number 12 pub in Norwich to re-open under new landlords

New owners of Number 12 Russell Evans, centre, and John Linford, right, with their new manager, Jame

New owners of Number 12 Russell Evans, centre, and John Linford, right, with their new manager, James Watkins. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A historic pub in the heart of Norwich is toasting the start of a new chapter in its life.

Number 12 in Farmers Avenue, which has new owners and a new manager. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Number 12 in Farmers Avenue, which has new owners and a new manager. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Number 12, which boasts views of Norwich Castle, faced an uncertain future after its previous landlord called time on the business.

But pub company Enterprise Inns has brought in new licensees, who already operate three other pubs around Norwich, and the popular drinking spot will re-open next Friday.

Co-licensees Russell Evans and John Linford agreed to take on the pub, which is in Farmers Avenue and thought to be around 250 years old, to build on its existing strong reputation.

'It's known as a good food place, so that will very much be part of our offer,' said Mr Evans. 'It's a pub that has different things for

Number 12 which has new owners and a new manager. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Number 12 which has new owners and a new manager. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

different people at different times of the day.

'There's the business crowd at lunchtime, and some people like to go out in the early evening when it will be cocktails.

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'We're going to build on the excellent reputation the pub already has.'

The pair already run the Belle Vue in St Philips Road, the Buck Inn in Yarmouth Road and the York Tavern in Leicester Street.

And one of their team from the York Tavern will be general manager of Number 12.

James Watkins, 34, of Norwich, has been in the hospitality trade for 16 years and has managed restaurants in Thailand and Australia.

He said that they had plenty of ideas for the pub including fizzy Fridays, serving prosecco and bellinis – an Italian cocktail of prosecco and peach purée – from 5pm to 7pm,

The layout has also been changed to give a less formal feel, and there will be a focus on food.

'The food is going to be fresh, home-made and current,' he said. 'We know we've got to turn it round quickly at lunch-time for people who have to get back to work.

'There will be more on offer in the evening too.

'We're bringing over young, vibrant staff to work here.'

Fresh wraps, jacket halves and dusted fries would be on the menu, he added.

Once settled into the pub, Mr Watkins hopes to host live music events, show Norwich City games and have a selection of pre-game drinks offers for Norwich season ticket holders on match days.

Other features will include a regular Sunday brunch and a pre-cinema menu for people going to the nearby Vue in Castle Mall.

In terms of drinks, Mr Evans said there would be Bullards beers on tap – the traditional Norwich brand that he runs together with the Trowse-based Redwell brewery.

Mr Watkins added: 'We're going to be on trend and craft beer is so incredibly important to Norwich.

'We've got a really good wine supplier too so we hope to be known for our high level of wine quality.'

He said that he would be bringing in the Adnams craft range later this year.

There will be five cask options on offer to begin with, of four ales and a cider, later expanding to eight cask options.

Previous landlord Richard Elkin left the pub in December as he said the terms of his licence with Enterprise Inns made it impossible for him to make a decent living, and the pub has been closed since the start of January.