Huge investment reflects ‘healthy appetite for quality independent establishments’
Norwich’s highest-rated restaurant has announced a £500,000 investment to create a private dining room and a second kitchen, increasing its capacity by 50 per cent.
Roger Hickman’s Restaurant in Upper St Giles Street, which last month was confirmed as the only AA 3 Rosette restaurant in the city, will offer private dining, small functions and cookery demonstrations in the new first floor room, above the existing restaurant.
Roger Hickman bought the freehold to the ground floor of the building, where he was once head chef at the Michelin-starred Adlards, in 2012. Now he has bought the remaining two floors from former owners MJB, allowing him to create the new dining room and kitchen, as well as a staff flat on the top floor.
Work has already started on replacing the roof of the building, with the new dining room due to open early in 2018.
“Since we opened in 2010, we have been constrained by space, both in terms of numbers of covers, and in our ability to accommodate larger parties,” said Mr Hickman, who opened his restaurant in 2010.
“The new dining room will enable us to offer tables for larger parties, as well as accommodate weddings and private parties, something we are constantly being asked to do.
“Building a second, separate kitchen on the first floor will also allow us to put on cookery demonstrations.
“Half a million pounds is an enormous investment for an independent restaurant, but I am confident that in a city largely made up of chain restaurants, that there is a healthy appetite for quality independent establishments.”
Roger Hickman’s Restaurant was first given the prestigious 3 AA Rosette award in 2012, and has retained it ever since – the only restaurant in Norwich to boast the accolade. The award was reconfirmed at the annual AA awards in September.
Also last month, Hickman’s was announced as the highest-rated Norfolk restaurant in the annual SquareMeal Best UK Restaurant survey, as well as receiving a prestigious ‘Notable Wine List’ award from the AA for the variety and quality of its wine list, for the third year in a row.