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Wine Vaults makes a return

PUBLISHED: 09:44 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:15 01 August 2010

NEW owners of a prominent restaurant and bar in Beccles are looking to restore it to its former glory.

The former Vovos premises, at the top of Blyburgate, is set to reopen in early March under the name of Wine Vaults - coining the title used several years ago when the venue was hugely popular in the town.

NEW owners of a prominent restaurant and bar in Beccles are looking to restore it to its former glory.

The former Vovos premises, at the top of Blyburgate, is set to reopen in early March under the name of Wine Vaults - coining the title used several years ago when the venue was hugely popular in the town.

The restaurant and bar will be run by Richard Lock, who also owns the Ellough Park Raceway, with his brother David Lock and his brother's partner Jolanta Makowska.

Richard Lock said he was hoping to replicate the same sort of atmosphere as the old Wine Vaults under his ownership. “People do still remember it as the Wine Vaults,” he said. “It was a nice restaurant, people used to come from quite a way.

“We want people to walk in here and feel it's got some warmth and friendliness. It will be a nice place you can come and bring your partner.”

The old Wine Vaults closed around a decade ago, to be taken over as Harvey's Bar. When that closed, the venue became Vovo's Wine Cellar and Bistro, which opened in April 2008, but closed after just a few months.

The new owners bring with them a much-respected chef in James Santillo, of the Flint House Restaurant in Lowestoft and Red Herring Restaurant in Oulton Broad.

The focus will be on creating a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, with good quality local food that is cooked on site and is reasonably priced.

The venue is currently being redecorated, with an oak bar being installed on the ground floor and the old fireplace being fixed so that it can be used again. The walls are being repainted a cream colour to keep the venue lighter than it had been before.

The focus will be on enhancing the natural qualities of the old building, with the wine vaults opened downstairs to hold restaurant seating as well as another bar.

There are plans to hold comedy nights once a month, as well as acoustic music on some evenings.

Running a bar and restaurant will be quite a diversion for Richard Lock, who is used to running the raceway at Ellough. However his brother David has plenty of experience, having worked for Beefeater as well as Pizza and Pancake and Sgt Peppers in Lowestoft.

The restaurant will have strong links with the raceway, providing food and an extra venue for corporate events. It will also be available for private hire.

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