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Family restaurant in The Saints, Ipswich, changes hands

PUBLISHED: 19:29 10 July 2019

The new team running @twenty5 restaurant, Ipswich Tina Leamon, son James Leamon and business partner Richard O'Sullivan. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

The new team running @twenty5 restaurant, Ipswich Tina Leamon, son James Leamon and business partner Richard O'Sullivan. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

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New owners have taken over the popular @twenty5 restaurant in St Nicholas Street, Ipswich.

Cromwell Square Elmer, and @twenty5 restaurant. Picture: DAVID VINCENTCromwell Square Elmer, and @twenty5 restaurant. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

At the helm are a mother and son duo, Tina Leamon and James Leamon, who are now living in Ipswich after a time based in the Middle East and Hong Kong.

The family is originally from Essex and has now taken over the restaurant which was opened by previous owner Mel Tillett back in 2014.

The restaurant had also been well-known when it was The Galley.

Mrs Leamon said: "We are very excited. We first saw the restaurant in January and wanted to take it on.

"The previous owner has left for new challenges."

Mrs Leamon has run her own businesses before, including an art studio in Hong Kong for five years, teaching children and adults.

She is fronting the new venture.

Her husband is taking a step back, she said, and has his own business interests.

The restaurant is being run by herself as general manager and her 19-year-old son, with the support of experienced Suffolk businessman Richard O'Sullivan as a business partner.

She said: "James has got to be jack-of-all trades. He has completed three years chef training at the school at Colchester Institute, which is a very good college. He will be cooking and working front of house too.

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"We are completely excited by it. You only get out of something what you put in to it.

"We know it is going to be hard work but it has a great location and it has so much potential to take if forward.

"We are planning to have a re-launch in August.

"The feedback has been amazing so far.

"We are tweaking things. There are no massive changes.

"Head chef is Devon Brown and assistant Larissa Spellar. Her speciality is patisserie so we are looking forward to re-inventing the dessert menus."

It would be evolution not revolution, she added.

"We are pleased to be taking it on. We are excited about what we can turn it into.

"We are here for the long haul."

They would be updating the menu and adding more seasonal produce, she explained.

James Leamon added: "It is really exciting to be doing this so soon after coming out of catering school, and a little bit scary too."

The Saints is a busy area for eating out in Ipswich with a wide range of cafes and restaurants, from Indian and Chinese cuisine to Thai and vegan specialities.

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