Ipswich: Bistro owner wants scruffy site to be tidied up
14:14 26 May 2014
Waterfront is a regional attraction
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