Plans lodged to close popular city centre restaurant

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Owner Jeremy King.Picture: ANTONY KELL

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Owner Jeremy King.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A popular Norwich restaurant could be closed and turned into a house.

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Owner JeremyPicture: ANTONY KELLY

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Owner JeremyPicture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Barndeen Restaurants Ltd is seeking change-of-use permission to turn East Twenty Six on Exchange Street into a three-bedroom home.

The restaurant, which is within a Grade II listed property, employs five full-time and 17 part-time staff.

Should it close, it will be the third restaurant to shut on Exchange Street in 12 months.

Plans submitted to Norwich City Council state the change will enable the company to concentrate on its other restaurant, the Iron House at St John Maddermarket.

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The application said: 'The employees are contracted under the company name and as such can work in either restaurant.

'It is proposed to increase the opening hours in the sister restaurant, thereby absorbing all members of staff allowing continuity of employment within the company structure.'

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The company was granted permission to operate a restaurant from the property in 2013. Prior to that the building was used as a dentist's office and surgery.

The latest proposals will see the building turned into a 'unique living space' within the city centre.

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

East Twenty Six bar and restaurant, Exchange Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The application said: 'The proposal will be car free and therefore does not give rise to any traffic impacts.

'The property is well suited for conversion to a residence and will be a sympathetic use of a Grade II listed building.

'Should it be approved it will create a unique living space within the centre of Norwich.

'Approval will allow the management team to concentrate fully on the Iron House restaurant and ensure the company continues to provide the existing level of employment within the city.'

In January this year the restaurant, which serves 'modern tapas', was listed as one of the 10 best places to eat in Norwich by this newspaper.

Should the restaurant close, it will be the third to go from Exchange Street this year.

The fried chicken restaurant Woolf & Bird shut in January - less than a year after opening.

And in February, the E Street Smokehouse closed having only opened on July 6, 2017.

The owners have been contacted for comment.

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