Waterfront restaurant opens after licence battle with residents

Amr Eissa outside the Oasis Lounge on the waterfront Ipswich

Amr Eissa has opened the Oasis Lounge on Ipswich's waterfront following a long planning battle. - Credit: Oasis Lounge

A controversial Mediterranean dining lounge has opened on Ipswich's waterfront after a licensing battle with nearby residents.

Oasis Lounge was twice refused a licence to sell alcohol after concerns were raised by residents and the police but the restaurant has now opened with no booze on the menu.

Owner Amr Eissa says he invited nearby residents to take a look around the venue to calm their fears that it would be a disturbance.

Interior of the Mediterranean dining spot Oasis Lounge

The Oasis Lounge will offer a mix of Mediterranean dishes. - Credit: Oasis Lounge

Mr Eissa has previously been in charge of the Makani Café Bar and Lounge, in Tacket Street, but after the bar was shut down earlier this year, he says he is "focused" on making the Oasis Lounge a success.

Mr Eissa said: “I ran a bar in town in the past and it was a late-night bar, so when I took over, they thought it was going to be exactly the same thing. 

“But it’s not, it’s going to be a restaurant serving food all day but they didn’t believe it because I ran the late-night bar in the past. 

“When I applied for the alcohol licence, they objected to us. But since I opened, I invited everyone to have a look around and see what we do and everyone was happy and we didn’t have any complaints.

“We have a lot of them that come down for food and drinks so it’s kind of coming our way now they’ve seen it’s a restaurant and not a nightclub."

Interior of the Mediterranean dining spot Oasis Lounge

Owner Amr Eissa says he is "focused" on making Oasis Lounge a success. - Credit: Oasis Lounge

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The Key Street restaurant serves Egyptian, Turkish and Lebanese food and Mr Eissa said he is "very excited" to make the eatery a success.

“I worked in Egypt where I ran a bar, restaurants and cafes before I came over here 15 years ago," he said. 

“I worked in a lot of restaurants in Egypt before I came over here and I studied cheffing as well. I like working with food. 

“There are not many places in Ipswich that can provide a mixed-Mediterranean theme. 

“We offer a lot of options for breakfast and brunches which will be new for the area. 

“All our food is homemade and freshly prepared every day, it’s something different that you won’t be able to find in a lot of places in Ipswich, along with the beautiful view."