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Take a look inside Grand Central, Thetford's newest restaurant, which opens to the public tomorrow

PUBLISHED: 18:45 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:18 24 April 2017

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. Owned by husband and wife team, Steve and Jo Haslam.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. Owned by husband and wife team, Steve and Jo Haslam. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Archant 2017

The New York city skyline is on the walls, American football is played on a huge television and there are booths to sit and eat your rack of ribs.

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Welcome to Grand Central, an American bar and grill which offers ‘authentic taste of the States’ and is the first eatery to open at Thetford’s £8m Riverside Development.

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Tomorrow from 5.30pm, people will be able to experience a taste of the US at the family-run restaurant owned by Ely-based company TLC Inns, which also owns the chain’s five other restaurants - including one in Ipswich.

The 150-seat restaurant has a bar area, for those wishing to try the cocktails or mocktails, booths and tables, and a 100-seat outside area - with the restaurant windows opening out to offer an alfresco feel.

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Founders Steve and Jo Haslam, who opened their first pub in Ely ten years ago, said they wanted to be part of Thetford’s regeneration.

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford.
L-r Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Nigel Robson, director of breckland bridge, Jo Haslam, David winch, director of breckland bridge and Steve Haslam.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. L-r Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Nigel Robson, director of breckland bridge, Jo Haslam, David winch, director of breckland bridge and Steve Haslam. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Grand Central will join Travelodge, which opened in October, and The Light Cinema, which began showing films in December, both of which are trading above expectations.

Mr Haslam said: “I get an offer a day to open a new unit. We have a tough selection process but what attracted us was the promise of how Thetford was going to develop and grow.

“We saw it as being really exciting. We felt that this was a massive opportunity to come in here and to what we have done.”

Managed by Paul Trudgon, Thetford born and bred, the restaurant has created 42 jobs and Mr Haslam has said as it grows there will be more employment opportunity.

Grand Central officially opens in Thetford.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Grand Central officially opens in Thetford. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

It has a state-of-the-art kitchen, costing around £250,000, and altogether the restaurant fittings are priced at between £650,000 and £700,000.

“We believe this will become the go to place in Thetford,” said Mr Haslam. “There is no need to travel, people can have a drink and walk home or it is a short taxi ride home.

“The overwhelming feedback from people has been that it has a good feel to it.”

The Riverside Complex is delivered by Breckland Bridge, a joint partnership between Breckland Council and property developers The Land Group.

Director of The Land Group David Winch said: “The Travelodge is always full and the cinema is busy every night. They are the two catalysts of the development. They are both trading better than we thought in the first year and indeed how they thought.

“They [TLC Inns] have brought a bit of style which is really lifting the whole thing.”

Grand Central will be open tomorrow from 5.30pm and Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm.

Normal hours will begin from Friday - 8am until 11pm.

People are advised to book for the next week.

To view the menu, click here

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