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First look inside the cocktail bar opening at former Ipswich nightclub

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 23:32 09 December 2019

Francesko Xhaferaj at the bar at The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich
Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

Francesko Xhaferaj at the bar at The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

Archant

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 will serve a range of cocktails in Tacket Street. Picture: THE BLOOM LOUNGEThe Bloom Lounge will serve a range of cocktails in Tacket Street. Picture: THE BLOOM LOUNGE

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.

The Bloom Lounge is opening in the former First Floor Club, which is pictured here with Radio One DJ Kenny Everett in 1969. Picture: IAN MCGRATHThe Bloom Lounge is opening in the former First Floor Club, which is pictured here with Radio One DJ Kenny Everett in 1969. Picture: IAN MCGRATH

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.

The Bloom Lounge has been kitted out with modern decor and flowers. Picture: THE BLOOM LOUNGEThe Bloom Lounge has been kitted out with modern decor and flowers. Picture: THE BLOOM LOUNGE

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."

Francesko Xhaferaj outside The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich
Picture: Neil Perry / ArchantFrancesko Xhaferaj outside The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

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".

The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich in the old Fire and Ice nightclub 
Picture: Neil Perry / Archant The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich in the old Fire and Ice nightclub Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

"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.

The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich is getting ready to officially open after a soft launch
Picture: Neil Perry / ArchantThe Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich is getting ready to officially open after a soft launch Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

Francesko Xhaferaj outside The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich
Picture: Neil Perry / ArchantFrancesko Xhaferaj outside The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

The bar at the Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich
Picture: Neil Perry / ArchantThe bar at the Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

TheInsta-friendly style inside The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich in the old Fire and Ice nightclub 
Picture: Neil Perry / ArchantTheInsta-friendly style inside The Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich in the old Fire and Ice nightclub Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

The brand new bar area inside the Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich
Picture: Neil Perry / ArchantThe brand new bar area inside the Bloom Lounge in Tacket Street Ipswich Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

34 Tacket Street, Ipswich part of the former First Floor Club/Fire & Ice building, which is re-opening as The Bloom Lounge offering brunch, coffee, cake and cocktails. Picture: DAVID VINCENT34 Tacket Street, Ipswich part of the former First Floor Club/Fire & Ice building, which is re-opening as The Bloom Lounge offering brunch, coffee, cake and cocktails. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

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