Success is brewing in West Norfolk as the region sees another new pub opening
PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 May 2018
For many towns and villages across the county, the pub acts as the focal point which binds the community together.
But as the number of pubs steadily declines on a national level, one area in Norfolk seems to be bucking the trend.
The pubs industry is thriving in West Norfolk, with the region seeing a number of new, refurbished and reopened pubs.
These include the Nip and Growler and Goldings in King’s Lynn, The Whalebone in Downham Market and the King’s Arms in Shouldham, a pub which was saved from permanent closure by the community in 2014.
More recently the former Lattice House in King’s Lynn underwent a major rebrand and has reopened as the Bishops of Chapel Street.
Chairman of West Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Steve Barker said people are seeking more choice of drinks when frequenting their local.
He said pubs are looking for a fresh new approach to keep up with changing trends in order to keep the pubs community alive.
“It’s quite heartening to see the pubs opening,” Mr Barker said. “A lot of them have been refurbished as well. “I think probably the fashion is changing, the old style now has given way to a far more modern style of pub which tends to attract a younger clientele which is good for the industry.” He said the abundance of breweries in Norfolk is extremely promising for the future, adding: “Pubs have reinvented themselves - choice is what a lot of people look for. Lots of people will go to a pub and now there will be guest beers.”
Here is a look back at pubs which have reopened in West Norfolk in the past year:
Bishops of Chapel St
Formerly known as the Lattice House, the pub closed for refurbishment in January this year and after undergoing a £150,000 refurbishment it reopened its doors as the Bishops of Chapel St.
Landlord Geoff Jones said the Grade II listed building needed “a lot of money and a lot of love” and that it was not the usual run-of-the-mill pub.
He said he has received backlash over its over 23 admissions policy but added: “We wanted a pub and restaurant that people will come in and be proud of.”
Nip and Growler
The craft ale house opened in King’s Lynn High Street in September offering a selection of craft ales and lesser known spirits.
Owners Clare Biggs and Elise Rout took over the rundown store where photographic retailer Jessops used to stand and transformed it into a bar.
Almost everything in the pub, from the eclectic bric a brac and wooden barrel furnishings, have either been made from recycled material or bought second hand.
The former Wenns pub in Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn, underwent a total makeover and reopened its doors as Goldings just before Christmas last year.
The Grade II listed building closed down in 2015 and was bought by Lucy and Richard Golding who run the award-winning Market Bistro next door.
The ground floor accommodates a pub and deli and the upper floors have been converted into self-catering apartments with stunning views of the King’s Lynn Minster.
A new JD Wetherspoon pub opened in a historic building in Downham Market which had remained closed for nearly three years.
After a £2.5m investment, the former White Hart pub, in Bridge Street, Downham Market, reopened as the Whalebone in March.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The Whalebone has proven very popular since opening in March. It is good news that other pubs in the region are also doing well.
“Pubs are the lifeline of communities and we will continue to invest in opening new pubs across the UK.
“There is no specific reason why West Norfolk has seen an increase in new pubs, but it is something that we should all be happy about.”
The former Bar Red in Norfolk Street, King’s Lynn, reopened as The Eagle last August. The name pays homage to its past when it was called the Eagle Hotel. During the Second World War, in June 1942, the packed pub was hit by a bomb killing 42 people. It was rebuilt in the 1950s and housed a number of pubs before it became Bar Red in the mid 2000s.
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