New wine boutique opening on Ipswich Waterfront

Julien owner of Bistro on the Quay has just opened a new wine shop and bar for customers to drink in

Julien Jourdain, owner of Bistro on the Quay, has just opened a new wine shop and bar for customers to drink in - Credit: Charlotte Bond

As we venture into the next stage of lockdown restrictions easing, we’re getting ever closer to the concept of ‘normal’ dining once again. 

In Ipswich, businessman Julien Jourdain is feeling so optimistic for the future that he’s opened a brand new venture on the marina, just in time for the summer.

The Calais native has been living in the town since he was a teenager, and during his time in Suffolk has opened both Bistro on the Quay and Mariners Restaurant, an eatery that serves classic brasserie fare aboard a renovated boat. 

But Julien has now paired up with Wine Boutique, an independent wine supplier with shops in Felixstowe and Frinton, with hopes of reigniting the town’s love affair with vino.  

Exterior shot of Bistro on the Quay

Julien's new wine venture will be located on the first floor of Bistro on the Quay - Credit: Anthony and Cathy Brooks

Explaining the inspiration behind this, Julien says: “Wine Boutique is my wine supplier, and we’re going to be taking that concept and using it here at Bistro on the Quay.” 

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Wine Boutique allows customers to browse a range of imported wines and try them as they browse. 

“The prices will be the same, and it will operate the same way as the other branches. 

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“I thought that Ipswich was lacking this sort of venue, especially here on the docks. There will be a large table in the middle of the boutique, so when restrictions are lifted, people can interact with each other while having proper conversations about good wine.” 

Social distancing restrictions are due to lift on Monday June 21, as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown. This will mean people can mix with those outside of their households, both indoors and outdoors, in public and private spaces.  

Customers will also be able to purchase bottles of wine from the shelves of the boutique – which will be located on the first floor of the bistro – and take them downstairs with them when they dine.  

Julien owner of Bistro on the Quay has just opened a new wine shop and bar for customers to drink in

Once lockdown restrictions lift, Julien hopes people will socialise within the boutique over a glass of wine - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Julien will be stocking over 40 different wines – including a number of imported French, Spanish and Italian varieties. 

“At Bistro, we always like for our customers to have a pre-drink, so it will be a lot easier for us to get them to have a nice, chilled pre-drink or pre-bottle while we are getting their table ready either downstairs in the restaurant or at the Mariners.”  

Customers will have to pay a £7 corkage fee if they wish to take their bottle to dinner with them.  

Customers will be able to browse a selection of wines to either enjoy

Customers will be able to browse a selection of wines to either enjoy within the boutique, at one of Julien's restaurants or at home - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Wine Boutique – opening Thursday, April 15 – will operate limited opening hours during the month while al fresco, outdoor-only dining restrictions are in place, but will be open seven days a week, from 11am to 10.30pm, as of Monday May 17 when indoor dining commences. 

“We’re very optimistic about the future – I never would have opened the wine shop if I wasn’t feeling positive about it. I’m incredibly hopeful about what we can achieve here on the waterfront, and how the Covid crisis is going to turn around," Julien adds.

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