‘Upmarket’ new bar in former Chinese takeaway gets go ahead

PUBLISHED: 15:57 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:25 11 September 2019

China Inn, on Prince of Wales Road. Photo: Google

China Inn, on Prince of Wales Road. Photo: Google


A new “upmarket” venue in the heart of Norwich’s clubbing area has been granted a licence to open, after finding common ground with a neighbouring taxi firm.

A company called D.A.V. Property Limited lodged a bid with Norwich City Council in July to open a new premises at 72 Prince of Wales Road - most recently home to China Inn takeaway.

The bid had initially been set to be heard at committee level, after an objection from management at neighbouring Beeline Taxi, which had concerns over how the new venue could co-exist with his business.

In a written submission to the committee, John Margitson, Beeline manager, said he was concerned that a venue on the corner of Prince of Wales Road and Cathedral Street would create difficulties for drivers collecting customers, taxi firm marshals and the police.

However, following successful talks between the firm and the applicants, Beeline owner Melvyn Cooke agreed to withdraw his company's objection.

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In a written statement he said he wished to withdraw all objections on behalf of his company and employees and endorse the application.

He wrote: "I think the street needs to be regenerated and after speaking with them I feel the operators will bring a new upmarket venue for an older clientele to the street, which it most definitely needs.

"I wish them all the best in their application and look forward to working with them side by side to bring the standards of the area up to the highest levels."

Prior to the committee meeting, Norfolk Police had also set out a number of conditions to be imposed on the venue, including an earlier closing time of 3.30am than the 4.30am proposed.

With these conditions agreed to ahead of the scheduled meeting, the need for it to convene was eliminated.

Instead, the city council licensing team was able to grant the licence without the need for a formal hearing.

The original application stated the venue would be aimed at people over the age of 25, with a bar operating on the basement and ground floor and a function room and outdoor terrace on the first floor.

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