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2nd May 2019
Last Wine Bar outdoor seating sketch

A Norwich restaurant and wine bar is to apply for permission to put tables and chairs on the pavement in front of its premises, as its new owners announce plans to expand their business with an all-day brasserie-style offering.

The Last Wine Bar & Restaurant, which in March was bought by four of its regular customers after founder James Sawrey-Cookson announced his retirement after nearly three decades at the helm, says that its plans will contribute to the regeneration of St George’s Street as a ‘vibrant and buzzing’ part of the city.

The Last’s new owners plan to convert the current ground floor restaurant into a French-style brasserie, serving morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon teas and coffees, and dinner, complementing the existing popular bar area, which will remain unchanged. 

The restaurant currently has permission for tables in the courtyard behind the bar, but is seeking to create an al fresco seating area in the pedestrianised St George’s Street itself, surrounded by attractive planters.

“People’s habits are much more informal nowadays, and they don’t restrict going out to the traditional lunch and dinner times,” said Lynda Baxter, one of the quartet who took over The Last in March.

“We are seeking to reflect that by opening all day, and by bringing a little bit of French café culture to this increasingly vibrant and buzzing part of the city.  Sitting on the terrace of a café enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine is something many enjoy, and the pedestrianised St George’s Street is the ideal location for such outdoor seating.

“We are committed to preserving everything that people love about The Last, whilst at the same time giving it a new lease of life by investing in the future.”

The proposal for outdoor tables and chairs would see seating for up to 16 people in front of the building, with last food orders being taken by 8pm each evening to ensure that local residents are not disturbed.

The nearby Café Pure on the opposite side of St George’s Street already has outside seating, while the Playhouse Theatre Bar and the Dog House pub both have outside seating areas within their boundaries.