Much-loved Sheringham restaurant closes after 36 years
- Credit: Supplied by Terry Butler
The people behind one of north Norfolk's most unique restaurants have closed their doors.
Terry and Margaret Butler, both 65, have retired from running Crofters in Sheringham's High Street after 36 years.
They took over the restaurant when Mr Butler returned from 10 years working as a chef in Austria and Germany, and cuisine from Vienna, Berlin and the Black Forest quickly became favourites on Crofters' menu.
Mr Butler said: "I started serving a few Austrian and German dishes and they became so popular we were getting people from King's Lynn and Peterborough coming over for them - there weren't many places serving that in this part of the country.
"A lot of customers had never had that kind of food before and they couldn't believe how flavoursome it is, and the portions were large.
"People who had never had something like sauerkraut before thought it was unbelievable."
Currywurst, Kaiserschmarrn and Bavarian belly of pork were among Crofters' popular Austrian and German dishes.
Mr Butler said they also served a range of cuisine from other parts of the world including Moroccan fillets, as well as anything that did well. "If you're in a small community like Sheringham, you have to satisfy all people from seven to 70," he said.
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"We used to have a six-page menu and it was all cooked fresh to order."
The past three years have brought some big challenges for the business.
A huge sinkhole which opened in the High Street right in front of Crofters proved a major headache, closing the restaurant for months.
Mr Butler said: "That was a massive challenge - we couldn't trade at all and we were struggling because insurance didn't recognise sinkholes."
And like the rest of the hospitality industry, the Butlers had to find ways of serving their customers throughout the pandemic.
"I'm overwhelmed by the support that we've had from people in Sheringham," Mr Butler said.
"Throughout the lockdown we were doing takeaways, and a lot of loyal customers became good friends."
The couple are planning to stay in the Sheringham area, spend more time with their adult children and travel.