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A milestone celebration for iconic Norwich restaurant Captain America's Captain America's Hamburger heaven.

Photo: Denise Bradley Today some of the people who worked at the one and only Captain America's have opened their photograph albums to remind us of those happy days at Hamburger Heaven which opened 45 years ago. Where did the time go? It is only right that the party and reunion will be talking place at another great survivor on the city scene The Talk in Oak Street on Saturday, January 21. "This is something we have been thinking about for some time. It's a great chance for everybody to get together again," said one of the organisers, Dick Turner. Mike Howell, owner and founder of Captain A's, alongside the waitresses in the 1970s. Photo: supplied by owner of Captain America's Over the years so many people gathered at this pioneering slice of the US of A in Exchange Street and when it opened back in the "big hair" days of 1972 Norwich was ray ban latest model a very different city to the one we have today. The man who saw the potential and gambled it would work was popular and forward ray ban 3445 thinking Mike Howell. He started Captain America's and the people loved it. A night out for the busy waitresses at Captain America's. Photo: from Dick Turner, Chris Gudgin and Lenny Guymer It is difficult to imagine it now but back then there was nowhere else like it, offering burgers with exotic names. This really was like stepping into the States! "Mike was a great chap and a good friend," said Dick. At the age of 22 he thought the people of Norwich and Norfolk would love a taste of America just like the ones they saw on television and at the movies. he was right. Chris Gudgin and Jude who fell in love at Captain America's where they both worked. Photo: from Dick Turner, Chris Gudgin and Lenny Guymer. The queue stretched all the way down Exchange Street when it opened and the first person to serve a customer was Mike's friend Lorraine Howes, who said: "I realised that I liked the public, and loved chatting to people. This was so different." Mike persuaded her to leave her job at Bonds and head down the road she loved it. Captain A's was a huge hit and people couldn't get enough of the sizzling burgers. Mike went on to open up the cocktail bar Skid Row and with the legendary Chris "Walnut Tree Shades" Gudgin behind the bar there was never a dull moment. And that's not all. He also opened a boutique called Panache and a unisex hair salon by the name of Spangles in Norwich. Captain America's old menus. Photo: Denise Bradley The future was looking good for this pioneering and clever city businessmen. but then tragedy struck. In 1975, Mike was on his way to Great Yarmouth to sign a lease on a place in Prince of Wales Road. ray ban vintage He was killed in a road accident on the Acle Straight at the age of 25. The family decided that Captain A's must be kept going and a few years later up stepped real life American Wayne Persinger, a former GI who had married Mike's sister. He was Captain America in Norwich. And he loved it. "When the restaurant was launched by Mike, it was such a fantastic hit they used to queue all the way up St Giles' Street to get in. At the time there was nothing else like it outside London. Not even a McDonald's," said Wayne. The atmosphere was great and it was oh so trendy. Norwich City footballers used to hang out there along with mechanics and drivers at Lotus. Restaurant manager Dave Hipperson. Photo: from Dick Turner, Chris Gudgin and Lenny Guymer Wayne was surrounded by members of his family at the black aviator ray ban sunglasses restaurant over the decades but at the end of last year he decided to serve up his last burger. and put his feet up. In Norwich of 2017, Captain America's is being run by members of the Williams family from North Walsham. They are showing that Captain A's has a great history. and an exciting future. Captain America's, Norwich. Date: Dec 2001. Picture: Archant Library "Now is the time to celebrate 45 years since the restaurant opened and we would like to see as many people as possible at the party," said Dick. "It should be a great night. We have much to thank him for. Captain America's Hamburger Heaven Party Nite is at The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich, on Saturday January 21, from 8pm. Tickets cost 5 and will be on the door. Any profits will go to the Alzheimer's Society. Mike Howell who first opened Captain America's 45 years ago with Gwen, one of the first managers. Photo: from Dick Turner, Chris Gudgin and Lenny Guymer. Don't miss next week's Norwich Through the Decades supplement when we will be embarking on our A to Z journey through the city highways and byways from main roads to courts and yards telling the stories behind the names.

For more nostalgia join our Facebook group Norwich Remembers to share or simply browse through photos posted by other users. Cocktail wizard Chris Gudgin at Captain America's before he went on to run the Walnut Tree Shades in Norwich for many years. Photo: from Dick Turner, Chris Gudgin and Lenny Guymer.

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