Ipswich: Bistro owner wants scruffy site to be tidied up

Ipswich Waterfront with the Bistro on the Quay Ipswich Waterfront with the Bistro on the Quay

Monday, May 26, 2014
2:14 PM

Waterfront is a regional attraction

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Ipswich Waterfront is attracting visitors to Ipswich from across East Anglia.

Now Cathy Brooks, current chairman of the Waterfront Businesses Group, says it is an ideal time for a new injection of investment in the area.

Much of the Waterfront area has been developed by independent, family-run businesses, creating both interest and employment.

Cathy and Anthony Brooks have been running the successful Bistro on the Quay, overlooking the Wet Dock, for going on 12 years now.

“It will be 12 years in October,” said Cathy, “We are looking forward to another busy and successful summer.”

Several Waterfront sites have changed hands recently, so new investment looks likely to be on the way.

Cathy said: “The Waterfront brings people to the town, from out of Ipswich and right across East Anglia as well.

“It surprises them. They come down and it is changing. It is a great attraction for Ipswich.

“We have a lot of things going on down here.

“It is a great place to be. It is nice to come down here when the sun is out.

“The business is developing nicely. We now have our outside seating which is very nice, overlooking the water.

“We have a lot of attractions and events in the town, such the Ip-Art Festival and Maritime Festival and it is nice to see the Never-Ending Mural which was started with the Ipswich School of Art, it is an attraction.

“For some people they just like to come down and look at the boats and everything.”

One change Cathy would like to see is the redevelopment of the St Peter’s Warehouse site, on the corner near Stoke Bridge. It is being sold by agents Penn Commercial.

She said: “That site on the corner is very scruffy and it is the first thing many visitors to the Waterfront see. It needs to be tidied up. It is close to St Peter’s Church and Wolsey’s Gate.

“Whatever development goes ahead here we need to have plenty of car parking.”

The visit of the Women’s Tour cycle race through Ipswich, again put the Waterfront in the TV spotlight.

“It was great to see it, I am a fair weather cyclist myself.”

Before coming to Ipswich, Anthony and Cathy ran a successful restaurant in Colchester, the Warehouse Brasserie.

“It was really popular.”

They met in London, though Cathy is an Essex girl.

“We have seen a lot of changes here as it has developed.

“We have a lot of regular customers. It is great that we have a lot of nice, friendly customers. It makes the hard work worth while.”

“We have a nice mix of customers.

“We have elderly people and had a family with a baby here today. In the evenings we sometimes get groups for staff meals, and something like that.

“Families and couples too.”

Their business employs around 30 staff, including students.”We have given a few people there first chance in the business,” she added.

The family is still involved. Cathy’s sister Julia was helping out when I called in. Anthony and Cathy’s daughter Phoebe, now a student nurse at UCS, sometimes wworks at the bistro too.

Bistro on the Quay, Wherry Quay

Ipswich 01473 286677

5 comments

  • People can mock about the Waterfront BUT it is an attraction, whenever it is hot people like to be near water. It is a success, I go down there a lot and it always has a buzz, Isaacs, Mariners, coffee shops, Salthouse, Briarbank, shops, Bistro on the quay etc etc, it is a foodie heaven with a nice view. My bugbear is the litter in the water, it really needs to be kep clean and dredged regularly as it is unsightly, the carpark also needs doing. I think that once the waterfront is finished there will be a natural [progression towards improving the town but it all takes time and money and patience.

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    C Smith

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • Esco hits the nail on the head... visitors might come here but wont come back. Customer retention is important.*** People are generally intelligent enough to make a pros vs cons comparison... usually what the locals might hate, might actually be liked... until you explore other towns you start to realise some of our treasures... (and also what we are missing!) except derelict buildings are never a positive thing; and the council has still not fathomed out that the waterfront is a no-go area when the weather is bad... which is 9 days out of 10... Yeah, its not a bad leisure activity to stroll along the waterfront with the expensive boats* (that you don't own and cant use) on a very hot sunny day... but most people go to the coast on those days. Changing peoples traditional behaviours will be near impossible to do... despite Felixstowe being run down, more people would rather drive down there than come to Ipswich waterfront. Many would prefer to drive to Clacton, Aldeburgh, Great Yarmouth and Southend etc for the day. *** has anyone any updates on Quayside... did someone take over that large unit yet?

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Empty high rise residential towers. The derelict and falling down end of the Waterfront at the Stoke Bridge end, the wall full of graffiti also at this end, which 'welcome' any visitors coming from the station. I have close friends from Colchester who visited Ipswich for the Maritime Festival last year and those were their impressions of the area. It may attract visitors, but their first impression is not one that will bring them back.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Monday, May 26, 2014

  • It's a right dump, close it all down and re start with designers who know what they are doing not the bunch now in the council,

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    pandy

    Monday, May 26, 2014

  • great attraction for ipswich now thats a joke.how about the council take the blinkers off and help the town center instead of ibc's precious waterfront.

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    bob

    Monday, May 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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