American diner Zak’s cooking up a storm in Thetford

New Zak's Diner opening in Thetford. Liam Warren, general manager, with Chris Carr, chief executive. ANL-150705-074440009
New Zak's Diner opening in Thetford. Liam Warren, general manager, with Chris Carr, chief executive. ANL-150705-074440009
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A new American diner is already cooking up a storm in Thetford, just weeks after opening.

Norfolk-based chain Zak’s Restaurants opened its branch on the town’s riverside last month and has since been packed with diners enjoying its hearty American fare.

With three restaurants in Norwich, Poringland and Great Yarmouth, Chris Carr, chief executive of Zak’s, decided it was time to branch out.

“All our restaurants are neighbourhood-based, and we thought Thetford was a good neighbourhood which could be a real community location,” he explained.

“It is a real growing town, with the town centre development and new housing over the next few years, and we wanted to be a part of that.

“They have the same menu but their own individuality.”

Chris said Zak’s is about ‘true casual dining’, intended to put customers at ease.

“We wanted people to relax there, and we’re serving old American classic food with a feel-good factor,” he said.

“We wanted it to feel comfortable when people come in. It feels like it’s established, like it’s been there forever.”

The 110-seater restaurant opened last month after an extensive renovation and has created 38 jobs for the town.

According to Chris, the interior decor and food are going well with the locals.

Led by manager Liam Warren, the garden is currently being renovated, with the work hoped to be finished in the summer, and there are also plans to create a second dining area upstairs.

The branch is due to hold an official opening on May 13, attended by the Mayor of Thetford and representatives from local businesses.

The winner of its Pose Like A Popstar competition, to win free food at the Thetford restaurant for a year, will be announced on May 11.