Cafe deserted months after planned re-opening date
ALL is quiet at once bustling lunch hot spot at a major intersection in Ipswich - and it has been all year.
Five Ways Cafe at the iconic five ways at Newtown opened in great fan fare in November but a month later the stoves went cold, the coffee machine ran dry and the lights were turned off.
That was close to four months ago and despite repeated promises of reopening to hopeful diners earlier this year, the once-popular destination is still deserted.
In December, owners said they had shut for 'a few weeks', later the same year they promised to re-open after Christmas, in early January, it was announced doors would open in 'a few weeks'.
In late January, re-opening was promised for mid-February, in early February it was delayed to March, and on March 16, re-opening was promised for mid-April.
In late March, Managing Director Alan Ikin said the extended closure has been frustrating, but necessary and doors would re-open in April.
Since then, signage outside the building has been taken down and managers have not returned calls.
A recorded phone message at the cafe says it is closed until February.
"The reason we haven't opened is because we've been held up," Mr Ikin told the QT on March 28.
"The recent rain hasn't helped, meaning that we're not happy about it and we've made many phone calls.
"The work is set to happen straight after Easter and we're hoping that it will only take one to two weeks to get the work done, stock in and the doors open."
Mr Ikin said that it soon became apparent that the kitchen wasn't going to cope long term based on early trading.
"The equipment we used was insufficient, the café was very popular but the ventilation wasn't able to keep up with the demand and didn't clear the fumes fast enough, so we're improving the kitchen so that we can deliver better service along with a better atmosphere.
"We'll literally be 'cooking with gas' very soon!" he added. "Fiveways Café is here to stay, there's no question about that. It's been extremely frustrating for us and for customers, just spending time treading water but we'll get there."
Cafe managers did not return calls.