A new restaurant is set to open in a seaside town in what the owners are describing as a "natural progression" from running an upstairs showbar.

Dan Wardle and Leon Richer are planning to open Loca restaurant in the former premises of Sands café at Charles Manning's Amusement Park in Sea Road, Felixstowe in July.

The restaurant, which will be launched in time for the summer season, will feature a steak menu with vegetarian and vegan alternatives, as well as specials, afternoon teas and brunches.

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The premises has stood empty for about eight months after the café closed at Halloween last year.

Mr Wardle said: "We are opening a restaurant downstairs where the old Sands place used to be.

"It just seemed like a natural progression, really. We started with La Vida upstairs and it is connected to the café premises by a staircase. People can head up from the restaurant to the shows."

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East Anglian Daily Times: Leon Richer and Dan Wardle already run La Vida showbarLeon Richer and Dan Wardle already run La Vida showbar (Image: Charlotte Bond)The name is a reference to the song Livin' La Vida Loca by Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin, while La Vida was opened as a cabaret showbar in September 2022 after Mr Richer bought the premises previously occupied by Copas Bar.

Repairs have been carried out to the roof at the former Sands café premises, while further renovations are taking place and the windows have been blackened out in preparation for the opening of Loca.

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Mr Wardle said there would also be a bar as part of the restaurant, along with outdoor seating.

He was hoping to have a big launch event on July 1 and hoped the mayor of Felixstowe would be in attendance, along with social media influencers.