Having started a career in the food and drink sector as a teenage “washer-up”, Hannah Sweeney is proud to have become the new proprietor of her own restaurant in Downham.
Sweeneys in the town’s High Street was formerly known as Palmers, previously run for 16 years by Pat and Deb Palmer, who are now landlords at the Hare Arms in Stow Bardolph, which is where Hannah, 28, began her career.
Now the new restaurateur is looking forward to developing her business which has already been fully booked on several occasions since it opened on July 30.
Said Hannah: “We have been really busy and bookings have been rolling in. I have to thank all my family and friends who have helped and supported me to make this dream become a reality.
“I have spent half my life in the food and drink industry, beginning with washing up at the Hare Arms and later becoming manager there. I have always wanted to run my own business.”
She paid tribute to her mother Rachel Alexander, brother Joshua Pryer, who painted and redecorated Sweeneys, brother Adam Pryer, who helped design and create the signs, her father Henry Pryer, sister Roxanne Pryer, husband Patrick and her good friend Sarah Kennedy for all the support given to her to get the project off the ground.
Hannah employs Sam Self as chef and Nathan Kennedy in a front-of-house role. The menu includes gourmet burgers, steaks, ribs and wings and salads, a specials board plus a selection of desserts.
“Everything is home made and we pride ourselves on sourcing all our fresh produce locally,” said Hannah.
“All our meat comes from Sargeant’s butchers and Norfolk Produce in Wereham supplies our potatoes and other veg and salads.
“We also have supplies from Accent Fresh in Downham and Cole’s of King’s Lynn supply our fish.”
The restaurant has 24 covers and has been stylishly decorated to give it a modern look incorporating an industrial feel. It includes a feature clock wall.
Sweeneys is open 11am-3pm and 6pm-11pm Tuesday to Fridays; 11am-3pm and 5.30pm-11pm on Saturdays; and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
For bookings call 01366 388124.