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Former Fatso’s restaurant reveals its £350,000 transformation

PUBLISHED: 07:03 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:16 08 December 2018

The official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie Honeywood

The official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood

A former American diner’s £350,000 transformation could help to improve the reputation of one of Great Yarmouth’s main urban thoroughfares.

The official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie HoneywoodThe official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie Honeywood

Civic dignitaries gathered at what was for 30 years Fatso’s in King Street to open the re-modelled and refurbished building in the traditional way with a ribbon-cutting and buffet.

The conversion was hailed as “a great success” by Philip Venning of the Heritage Lottery Fund who was among guests at the opening.

He said: “The lottery has supported a number of projects in and around the area and we are very pleased this has come to fruition in a very successful way.

“The point about Great Yarmouth is that people do not realise what an extraordinary amount of heritage there is.

The official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie HoneywoodThe official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie Honeywood

“One of the things I was hoping was that people from outside the area start coming to Yarmouth because they realise there is a lot of heritage.

“There is no reason why a banker and his wife from London should not come to Yarmouth for a weekend because of what Yarmouth has to offer in terms of heritage.”

He added it was unfortunate places like King Street had an undeserved reputation and that quality conversions that were going to be used well could help turn things around.

MORE: Former restaurant gives up secrets as experts peel back the years

Under the conversion, carried out by the town’s preservation trust which bought the 17th century building for £100,000, half the former merchant’s house has been converted to offices and counselling rooms for the Sue Lambert Trust, a charity which helps victims of abuse.

The official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie HoneywoodThe official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie Honeywood

Meanwhile, the other half has been turned into a four bedroom house for rent, and the basement will be used by St George’s Theatre for storage, rehearsal, and changing space.

The ribbon was officially cut by Lord Leicester, trust patron.

Project director Darren Barker said the building contained layers of history that had all been conserved with period window shutters mingling with glimpses of vintage wallpaper and newspaper articles pasted to the walls.

He said particular attention had been paid to the outside of the building which stood on a landmark corner facing the theatre

The official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie HoneywoodThe official opening of the restored 18th century building on King Street, the building was formerly Fatsos restaurant, Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Jamie Honeywood

But before the new tenants move in the building’s first job is as a gallery - hosting an exhibition of work by Johh Kiki.

People can see the art and have a look round all three floors every day until Saturday, 10-3pm.

About the Sue Lambert Trust

The Norwich-based charity is taking three floors in the former Fatso’s building enabling it to grow its role in the town.

Chief executive Mette Ohrvik said a pilot project in Yarmouth in the Victim Support building had seen them help 35 clients but once in the new building that number would leap to 120.

The charity provides counselling and support to people who have been abused, aged 11 and over.

Mostly they were dealing with historic sexual abuse cases which had rocketed following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

There are 80 people on the waiting list in Yarmouth.

The charity is keen to recruit more volunteers who must either be qualified counsellors or in training and able to offer half a day, and to find more people for its board of trustees.

To get in touch as a client or to volunteer visit the website by clicking the link here or call 01603 622406,

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