Restaurant owner's frustration over fire

AN IPSWICH man whose Italian restaurant was closed by fire soon after a £35,000 revamp today spoke of his sadness but pledged to reopen within a fortnight.

AN IPSWICH man whose Italian restaurant was closed by fire soon after a £35,000 revamp today spoke of his sadness but pledged to reopen within a fortnight.

Elvis Alika, who runs Isabella's Kitchen on Great Colman Street, said the business would continue despite the fire in the kitchen last week, which caused smoke damage to the whole building.

“I feel very upset. We spent all of that time and effort on it,” he said.

“When you have started up a business and are building it up it is a big setback but we are not going to go away.”

Mr Alika, 30, who runs Isabella's with Daniel Weicht and brothers Dritan and Loert Duro, said they hoped to reopen by November 9.

The restaurant closed on Thursday after a fire broke out in the oven at 4.50pm. It had only been open for two-and-a-half months.

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The building had been repainted and a new kitchen and pizza oven had been installed.

Mr Alika, who has been in the restaurant trade for eight years, has begun to make plans to clean and redecorate Isabella's and to replace damaged chairs. He said he was waiting for insurance assessors to visit the restaurant.