Bosses of popular King’s Lynn bar closing doors for pastures new

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The bosses of one of Lynn’s most popular bars are closing their doors to open a new venue in the town.

Long-term business partners Elise Rout and Clare Biggs are leaving Bar Red, in Norfolk Street, next month to open up their own bar in the old Jessop’s site down High Street in July.

Elise said: “We’ve been working for a brewery for 10 or 11 years now and it has been a slog. We know the business inside out, so know we can do it for ourselves.

“We knew after a few years that we had a decision to make. We had three choices; to stay here, sell on the lease or do something on our own.

“With the daytime trade drifting off in Norfolk Street and a lot of the shops closing down or moving on, you are mostly relying on evening trade.

“The businesses are all becoming very much alike and I think we are behind the times.

“It was an easy decision to pick it up, move it somewhere else and downsize it.”

Their new premises, which has been completely stripped out to a bare shell, will be a lot smaller with a seated capacity of about 30 and will sell craft beers from micro breweries.

“It is going to be cosy and chilled and will suit a lot of different age groups. We expect it to be like Archers in town,” said Elise.

“Ninety per cent of all products will be sourced within a radius of 50 miles. We are using local builders and services, including charity shops for the furniture.

“You won’t see a Blue Wicked, Guinness or a Stella, but we want to offer customers an alternative with locally-brewed products. ”

It remains unclear what will become of Bar Red, which is currently owned by Enterprise Inns, and has been one of the most regularly-named pubs in West Norfolk.

Known as Oddfellows originally, then the Railway in 1847, it amalgamated with the White Swan next door to become the Eagle and Swan around 1897.

Bombed during the war in 1942, it reopened in 1959 as the Eagle, later becoming Chicago Rock Café, and the Orange House, when Chicago’s moved across the road, before its current incarnation as Bar Red.

On leaving their current establishment, where live music has been a huge attraction over the year’s, Clare said: “It has been quite humbling. We didn’t realise there would be such a big response to us leaving.

“We’ve received so many good luck messages, it’s great to know how much customers and bands have appreciated us.”

Elise added: “We’ve both got mixed emotions, but I’m excited about having somewhere of our own which has been created from a blank canvas.”