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Former Loch Fyne restaurant in Ipswich to reopen at The Forge Kitchen smokehouse and bar

PUBLISHED: 15:37 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 04 December 2017

The Forge Kitchen, smokehouse and bar, in Duke Street.
The new restaurant, which replaces Loch Fyne, is aiming to open before Christmas

The Forge Kitchen, smokehouse and bar, in Duke Street. The new restaurant, which replaces Loch Fyne, is aiming to open before Christmas

Archant

A landmark Ipswich restaurant, close to the town’s Waterfront, is about to re-open under new ownership and a new name.

The industrial interiors of The Forge Kitchen, Duke Street.
The new restauraunt and bar replaces Loch Fyne in the landmark Ipswich buildingThe industrial interiors of The Forge Kitchen, Duke Street. The new restauraunt and bar replaces Loch Fyne in the landmark Ipswich building

The former Loch Fyne fish restaurant, which was run by Greene King but closed in October, is a converted industrial building which was once an electricity sub-station.

It is now being refurbished, inside and out, ready for a re-launch in time for Christmas as The Forge Kitchen smokehouse and bar.

The business represents the first independent venture for husband and wife team Grant and Robyn Owen, who are moving from the Oxford area.

Mr Owen said: “We want to get everything just right. This is a lovely position and the building is full of character. We are very excited about it and want to see it do well.

The building in its days as a Loch Fyne Seafood Bar and Grill.The building in its days as a Loch Fyne Seafood Bar and Grill.

“We have had a massive amount of interest in it; we are pleasantly surprised by that. We are going to make sure we make it inviting in here, and people grow to love it.”

The concept, he said, was is to offer simple food, cooked over flames and coals, and “more than a restaurant” – somewhere customers can stay and relax after their meal.

“I have been in hospitality most of my working life,” he added. “It is one of those industries you have to love. There is nothing better than seeing people out enjoying themselves.”

Bury St Edmunds pubs and brewing group chain Greene King announced a year ago it was selling the Loch Fyne restaurant in Ipswich.

Grant and Robyn Owen, owners of the new Forge Kitchen restaurant in Duke Street, IpswichGrant and Robyn Owen, owners of the new Forge Kitchen restaurant in Duke Street, Ipswich

It said at the time that: “After an extensive review of the business, we made the difficult decision that the restaurant no longer fits within our core estate and we have therefore decided to sell.”

A spokesperson for Loch Fyne Seafood & Grill said today: “From time to time, we have to make the difficult decision to close a restaurant to allow us to invest in our estate.

“We have supported the Ipswich team members find alternative employment since the closure and would like to thank our customers for their support over the years.”

The building, in Duke Street, became a restaurant when the long-established Mortimers fish restaurant moved there from the Waterfront.

The business was taken over by the then independent Loch Fyne chain in 2005 and the Loch Fyne business was itself then acquired by Greene King, in 2007.

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