The eagerly anticipated opening of an acclaimed new café has been met with celebration in Felixstowe, as part of the continued wider redevelopment of the town’s South Seafront area.
The strikingly designed contemporary venue opened its doors to customers at the entrance to Martello Park, in Sea Road – after the building and its architects, Plaice Design Company, were ‘Highly Commended’ by judges at Friday’s Riba Suffolk Design Awards 2022.
The £1.5 million landmark project was funded by East Suffolk Council (ESC), with grant funding of £950,000 from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and a further £30,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund.
It’s the latest development in a wider project of ongoing regeneration in the South Seafront area, following the arrival of new homes, a play area and parking at Martello Park, as well as further investment in the refurbishment of the two public shelters and the long-term maintenance of its historic Martello tower centrepiece.
Among the first customers to sample offerings at the café, named The Kitchen @ Felixstowe and run by ESC operational partner, The Kitchen @ Group, was local ward councillor, Steve Wiles.
Assistant Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Wiles, who also visited the site almost exactly a year ago to see the final stage of construction begin, added: “It’s fantastic to be back on-site for the official opening of what we believe will be a valuable contribution to establishing this area as desirable place to live and visit.
“It will also bring local employment opportunities as well as supporting economic recovery and growth following the impact of coronavirus.”
Fellow ward councillor Mark Jepson, who has served two terms as Mayor of Felixstowe during building of the café, which began in August 2020, led by Barnes Construction, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the official opening of this wonderful addition to the South Seafront area.
“I hope it will play an important role in helping the town’s continued recovery from the economic impact of Covid-19 by attracting local people and visitors to enjoy its food, drink and incredible seafront views.”
The café is run by Cameron and Claire Marshall, owners of The Kitchen @ Group, which was forged from the original Dedham Boathouse. They have fitted out the internal space with a contemporary style design, offering alfresco dining, complete with daily baked sweet and savoury pastries, scones and cakes, Harris & James gelato and handmade chocolates, seasonal changing menus, daily specials and local smoked fish plates. And, of course, a full breakfast menu to start the day.
“We are so excited for this long-awaited opening of our third Kitchen @ now in Martello Park, Felixstowe,” said the Marshalls.
“We are looking forward to forging a great relationship with the local community and holidaymakers alike.”
Working alongside ESC, Barnes Construction and the Kitchen @ Group on delivering the project were Plaice Design, Superstructures and Gill Associates.
Cllr Craig Rivett, Deputy Leader of ESC and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “This is the latest great example of how we’re giving our full backing to this part of Felixstowe.
“And it’s not the end of our plans to help it thrive as a place to live and visit. In October, we approved plans for a million-pound beach village, including 27 traditional huts and five purpose-built accessible pods, to be built next to the prom and add to what Felixstowe has to offer as a tourism destination. We want to build on its strengths and create facilities for everyone to enjoy.”