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Will Felixstowe seafront restaurant open again in the new year?

PUBLISHED: 08:47 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:47 22 December 2019

The former Delphine's Diner on Felixstowe seafront Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

The former Delphine's Diner on Felixstowe seafront Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

Archant

Mystery surrounds the future of a seafront restaurant which closed just over a year after opening.

Caroline and Pete Tuffrey, owners at Delphine's Diner with their staff at Felixstowe Picture: ARCHANTCaroline and Pete Tuffrey, owners at Delphine's Diner with their staff at Felixstowe Picture: ARCHANT

Retro American-style eatery Delphine's Diner closed suddenly and unexpectedly in the autumn after a summer season serving Felixstowe's visitors and residents.

It was opened by husband-and-wife team Peter and Caroline Tuffrey who had already been running a successful similar cafe in Aldeburgh High Street for five years.

Initially when the restaurant in Undercliff Road West closed a hand written sign on the door said it had been shut for: "A bit of a spruce up."

Later a sign in the window, from landlords Colwyn Developments Ltd, said the lease had been forfeited due to "non payment of rent and service charge".

Seafront restaurant Delphine's Diner, 91-93 Undercliff Road, has closed suddenly and is now to let with agents Penn Commercial. Picture: DAVID VINCENTSeafront restaurant Delphine's Diner, 91-93 Undercliff Road, has closed suddenly and is now to let with agents Penn Commercial. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

However, all of the Delphine's Diner fittings and equipment remain in the building and workmen appear to have been carrying out work.

Mayor of Felixstowe, and local businessman, Nick Barber said: "It is very sad that it hasn't worked out for them.

"It is a bit bemusing as in the main the seafront area did very well this summer.

"It is very sad to see anything closing when Aldeburgh has done so well.

"Hopefully it won't be empty for long. I think Felixstowe has a good mix of restaurants and there is always room for something a bit different and new.

"I would be surprised if it is empty for a long time."

The premises were until a few years ago the town's Tourist Information Centre but became surplus to requirements when the then Suffolk Coastal District Council decided to change the way it promoted tourism, moving the service mostly online.

The beautiful 1930s building - one of the last Art Deco properties on the resort's seafront - has been many things over the years, including an ice cream parlour and tea room in the 1930s to 1960s.

Mr and Mrs Tuffrey's 110 seater restaurant created an authentic vintage look with most of the accessories and fittings original from the 1940s and 1950s.

The couple could not be contacted about the latest situation.

Paul Keen, of agents Penn Commercial, said: "We have taken the premises back from the tenant. We are looking for a new tenant and it is available now. It is available for £25,000 plus VAT."

The 2,100 sq ft restaurant has prime position overlooking the prom and the sea.

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