Fish deli opens in Norfolk town despite pandemic hitting hospitality

A new fish deli and cocktail bar called M’s has opened its doors in the North Norfolk town of Aylsham.

Tucked away on the corner of Red Lion Street, M’s has occupied the historic building that was once a tailors in the early 1900s and then then a ironmongers.

Since the beginning of the pandemic nearly 10,000 hospitality establishments have closed in the UK due to the pressures of Covid-19.

Owner, Emma Payne said: “It’s been not easy at all, very difficult” to open her business in these times.

Emma Payne, Owner.

A cocktail bar is something she felt the area was missing. Also, she continues, “there’s no other fishmongers in town so I thought there was a niche in the market…so I had the crazy idea to combine them all”.

The once archaic building has been redesigned and decorated into a warm and welcoming environment, with a blue and gold marbled feature wall. The bar offers a classy sophistication with wine glasses hanging from the ceiling, and comfortable but stylish seating areas to enjoy tapas and cocktails.

This comes as news of isolation rules have been scrapped today as part of the government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan.

Hospitality owners like Emma hope the plan will encourage more people to go out as in pre-pandemic times.

In response to growing pressures surrounding climate change Emma said: “I’m trying to keep my carbon footprint low (by using) local breweries. Fish I have to source wherever possible, but crabs and lobsters are from Cromer”.

M’s: Red Lion Street, Aylsham

The government has given a £24 million business support grant to Norfolk’s leisure and hospitality industry after the dominant Omicron variant. Businesses can receive up to £6,000 to help the industry back on their feet.

Emma said: “I am entitled to a £1,000 grant when I am up and running, and I can claim that up to 6 months”.

M’s offers fresh fish during the day and classic cocktails in the evenings, aiming to bring some city life into a quieter pocket of Norfolk.

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