Ipswich: Turquoise restaurant in historic building damaged in hit-and-run crash

Ugur Vata and building owner Michael Trower at the Turquoise restaurant.

Ugur Vata and building owner Michael Trower at the Turquoise restaurant. - Credit: Archant

The owner of a popular restaurant is today hoping to hear when he can re-open after the historic building was damaged in a hit-and-run accident.

Chefs at the Turquoise restaurant in St Nicholas’ Street, Ipswich, were looking forward to one of their busiest weekends of the year as temperatures soared.

Instead they were left waiting to hear the verdict from architects after the 16th century building was badly damaged during the early hours of Saturday morning.

The car that smashed into the front of the building was driven off, even though it was leaking oil and water and a female occupant was seen to have blood streaming down her face.

Restaurant owner Ugur Vata, who also runs a similar business in Woodbridge, said he was forced to keep the premises closed over the weekend on safety grounds – the impact of the smash split one of the ancient oak beams that support the building, the wall and windows were badly cracked, and even the brick floor at the entrance was broken.

“It was a massive impact,” he said. “I was surprised that the car had been able to be driven away. There is oil and water from the radiator going down the road (towards St Peter’s church).

“And people have told us that there was a woman with blood everywhere – you imagine she must have gone to hospital. This seems unbelievable.”

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Building owner Michael Trower joined Mr Vata to survey the damage. He said: “This building is an old merchant’s house.

“It has survived everything Ipswich could throw at it over the centuries, but its front couldn’t survive a hectic weekend night out.”

A police spokeswoman said the incident was being investigated. Anyone with any information should contact the police on the non-emergency number 101.