First look inside the cocktail bar opening at former Ipswich nightclub
PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 23:32 09 December 2019
A new brunch and cocktail bar - complete with pink suede stools and 'Instagram-friendly' décor - is set to breathe life back into Ipswich's Tacket Street.
The Bloom Lounge is taking up residence in part of the former Fire & Ice nightclub, which has been transformed after lying vacant since 2010.
The landmark Victorian building has had a colourful past, after decades of acting as the popular First Floor Club and more recently Fire & Ice.
It was once the heart of the late night entertainment scene, but now the building's upper floors have been converted into town centre apartments by developer Joe Fogel and is now known as Charlotte House.
Meanwhile, downstairs there are three commercial units which have been modernised.
One of these spaces has been converted into The Bloom Lounge - which is promising "the best brunch in town" when it officially opens its doors on Friday, December 13.
Over the weekend the bar hosted its 'soft launch', allowing customers to try food from its light bites menu alongside their happy hour cocktails.
Opening the bar is 27-year-old Francesko Xhaferaj, who is originally from Ipswich and returned to his hometown to open the new venture.
He said: "I really wanted to bring something different to Ipswich.
"I used to live in London and I've seen a lot of really nice cafes and bars which have opened up over the last few years since social media has grown."
The bar will offer brunch, coffees and juices during the day and in the evenings it will host a full menu, along with a range of different cocktails and gins.
Francesko added: "We've tried to make it Instagram-friendly but it's still not completely finished. There's a lot more to come, including adding more flowers to the place."
When Francesko took the venture on around four months ago, he says the building was "a complete empty shell".
"We had to pretty much start from ground zero, but we've had some amazing feedback so far with loads of people walking past and popping in during our soft launch," he said.
From Friday the bar will be open from 11am and will close at 11pm on weekdays, but it will stay open until a later time of 1am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.