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Sadness as popular high street bistro closes

Bob Foyers and Karen Aldridge have announced the closure of The Bistro in Saxmundham. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Bob Foyers and Karen Aldridge have announced the closure of The Bistro in Saxmundham. Picture: SIMON PARKER

The owners of The Bistro at Saxmundham have thanked the customers and staff who supported during 13 and a half years of trading on the town’s High Street.

The Bistro in Saxmundham, with the blue door, has closed. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHThe Bistro in Saxmundham, with the blue door, has closed. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

It was such a fixture on a busy high street, its owners even talked about “Bistro babies” who had grown up regularly visiting their favourite eatery.

But now a popular Suffolk bistro is no more, having said a sad and emotional farewell to its customers after more than a decade on a town centre high street.

Experienced chefs Bob Foyers and Karen Aldridge have run The Bistro at Saxmundham for 13 and a half years.

The pair made a name for themselves at some the region’s top restaurants, with Ms Aldridge working at the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market and the Crown and Swan Hotels in Southwold before becoming head chef at the Crown Hotel in Wells-next-the-Sea.

Bob Foyers and Karen Aldridge pictured with 

Lady Caroline Cranbrook in 2009 launching the search for Suffolk's best pie as part of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

. Picture: SIMON PARKERBob Foyers and Karen Aldridge pictured with Lady Caroline Cranbrook in 2009 launching the search for Suffolk's best pie as part of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival . Picture: SIMON PARKER

Mr Foyers trained as a chef in the Royal Navy before working as sous chef at the Lifeboat Inn and head chef at the Jolly Sailor in North Norfolk, as well as owning The Deli in Wells-next-the-Sea.

But in a notice placed on the window of the now closed premises in Saxmundham High Street, the joint owners said they had come to the “massive decision” not to renew the lease for the store at the end of September.

“After 13 and a half years, it’s time for us to move on,” wrote Mr Foyers, who served as The Bistro’s front of house manager.

“We have not taken this choice lightly and we were hoping that we would have been able to sell prior to this point.

The notice placed on the window of The Bistro in Saxmundham, which has now closed. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHThe notice placed on the window of The Bistro in Saxmundham, which has now closed. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

“Taking on another 15 years seemed too much for us.”

The pair said it had been hard work juggling the demands of the business with their other work commitments, with Ms Aldridge working for Adnams in Southwold and Mr Foyers running Foyers Photography, providing wedding pictures across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

“We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all our wonderful and loyal customers over the years,” Mr Foyers added.

“You have been great. There have been a few ‘Bistro babies’ which we have watched grow up.

“Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to a few of our older customers at the other end.

“We have been blessed to have met some amazing people and are now thankful to call some of those our good friends.

“I would also say a big thank you to the amazing staff that we have had over the years.

“We are genuinely going to miss working alongside them and the others that we have watched grow up over the years, going to college, getting married and having kids.

“You have all been absolute stars and some seem more like family than staff.

“Karen and I have really had a wonderful 13 and a half years made better by wonderful customers and amazing staff.”

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