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New retro cocktail bar to open on Felixstowe seafront tonight

PUBLISHED: 12:42 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:23 01 February 2018

New themed cocktail bar, Copas, opens above Mannings Amusements, Felixstowe on Friday

A new retro-themed seafront bar is opening in Felixstowe today - above Mannings Amusements.

Charles Manning and his team have worked since April to prepare the upstairs space, which has previously been a snooker hall and nightclub, ready for its new use.

Now it is has a retro feel to it; with vintage furniture and Chesterfields, palm trees and scrubbed wooden floors.

It has elements of Cuba and a speakeasy, Mr Mannings said.

It is being officially opened tonight, with a number of invited guests and VIPS from across the town and beyond.

There will another celebration on Saturday for Charles’ 40th birthday.

“It has been hard work, but we wanted to get it right before we opened the club,” he said.

Mannings had been run by Charles’ father and grandfather, both named Charles, before him.

His grandfather, Charles, was a travelling showman who put down his roots in Felixstowe.

Mannings Amusements has been a tourist attraction for decades.

Some of the black and white photographs on the wall reflect his grandfather’s time in entertainment, with the Variety Club of Great Britain.

“Grandfather is in those old photographs with some famous people, from Roger Moore to Paul McCartney,” said Mr Mannings. “Initially he worked with Billy Butlin, then he took if forward himself.”

In the early years of Mannings Amusements there were live animals on display as well as rides and games. These including a monkey island - and a lame lion that would be allowed out as a publicity stunt, he said.

Charles and his younger brother, Johnny, run the family business these days, on behalf of their mother Sarah. They are joined in the Copas var venture by businessmen Andrew Bales and Daniel Henshaw.

“It is still a family-run business,” explained Charles. “This is the right time to open the new bar.

“Felixstowe has had a massive uplift. There is a lot of positive things happening here, like the new pier and new housing developments planned, which will be good for the town.

“Felixstowe is on the up and up. The is a buzz and a real positive vibe about the place.”

The Copas theme was one that could be taken to venues elsewhere, he said, with the right team.

“We have a very good strong team here, including manager Ollie Lomas and Joe Flynn. Joe previously worked in Cannes,” he added. “We are aiming for a particular section of the market place.

“There will be no loud music and DJS. We want to appeal to one area, and not try to attract everyone.”

Copas bar will be open from Wednesday through to Monday each week, and closed on Tuesdays.

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