New Ipswich restaurant The Botanist on track to open in late spring

The Botanist on the Cornhill

The Botanist is preparing to reopen the Old Post Office. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Work to turn Ipswich's Old Post Office building into a landmark restaurant is now well under way and should be finished by the end of spring, according to the building's owners.

There have been delays to the work - caused by Covid restrictions and supply-chain problems - but now work fitting it out as The Botanist is well underway behind the scenes.

Electrical equipment, including cooking ranges, have recently been delivered and are being installed while work goes on fitting out the building.

The building on the Cornhill is owned by Ipswich Borough Council, whose leader David Ellesmere is looking forward to the restaurant opening.

He said: "We know there is equipment arriving regularly and our people were there to see the cooking things arrive. A lot of the work at the moment is on the lower floors so people can't hear or see all that is happening - but it is coming along.

"They're still looking at opening at the end of April or in May and there's no reason to worry about that. However, there's always the chance that something else could happen to cause a delay - but it's all coming along very well."

The Botanist is expected to be a major attraction for the Cornhill - as well as having tables inside it also plans to have outdoor eating for much of the year.

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The council is also hoping to soon conclude a deal to bring a new street food restaurant to the former Little Waitrose store in the bottom of the Corn Exchange. That will also offer alfresco outdoor dining.

The opening of the new restaurant should herald a new era for the Old Post Office - before The Botanist moved in the council restored its structure and made sure the roof is watertight.

They should ensure it is good condition for many more years as one of the town's landmarks.