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My Norwich

Park café gets new lease of life

Published on Tuesday, 1st March 2016

Top notch tea and cake will be on offer in Eaton Park this spring as new tenants are found to take on the popular city site’s café.

Cellar Boy Ltd, which owns The Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts Street, will be opening the doors to Eaton Park Café as it takes on premises based in the Grade II listed building.

The company was chosen from nearly 150 applicants to run the venue and provide a high quality facility for the residents, visitors and community groups that enjoy the park every day.

Following final preparations to the building itself, the café is due to launch in time for Easter.

Councillor Keith Driver, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “Eaton Park is hugely popular so it was important to find someone to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.

“The team from The Bicycle Shop has the passion and local knowledge to build on the park’s existing community and to establish the café as a thriving and vibrant venue for everyone to enjoy. I can’t wait to join them for a celebratory cuppa!”

Rob Howe, owner of The Bicycle Shop, said: “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to run Eaton Park Café. I, and everyone who works at The Bicycle Shop are excited to start work within such an amazing space.

“I look forward to teaming up with Friends of Eaton Park and collaborating with the clubs and societies operating in the park. Also I hope that now, as someone working in the park, I might get discounted rides on the park train…”

Helen Mitchell from Friends of Eaton Park said: “We’re really looking forward to the café re-opening and think it will have been well worth the wait. Rob and David have fantastic experience and a great track record in the city already.

“What’s more, they are clearly entranced by the café building. They got the importance of the community side of the café and they’re already ahead of the game when it comes to using local suppliers, recycling and being energy efficient.

“As well as good food and a warm welcome we think Eaton Park Café will now have a real chance to develop a character all of its own and that it won’t be long before it comes to be seen as a destination in itself.”

The search for a new café tenant began at the end of last year, with 145 people registering an interest to take on the premises.

Since then, the selection process has involved applicants putting together proposals and a business plan for the venue, with a shortlist of five being invited to present their vision to the selection panel.

The tender process was managed by NPS Norwich, working with Norwich City Council and Friends of Eaton Park, while temporary catering facilities have been provided by local mobile café company, Crumpet & Trumpet.

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