Woodbridge restaurant set to become concept bar under new plans
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The popular Riverside Restaurant in Woodbridge is set to become a bar under new plans revealed this week.
The Riverside is to undergo a temporary transformation while owner Stuart Saunders recovers following a mini stroke earlier this week.
Mr Saunders has been running the site, which itself is over a 100 years old, since 1984.
Last week, he announced that he was having to make many of his staff redundant because of the impact of the pandemic on the industry.
Just days later he ended up in hospital and will now be resting at home for some time.
Andy Lister, who formally ran the 152 restaurant in Aldeburgh, will be creating a new bar in the space to be known as ‘A Listers’.
“The whole point of it is going to be turned into a bar,” said Mr Lister.
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“It’s a bit of a play on words with my name and we have a cinema next door.”
Film stars will be the new concept for the bar with the space split into different sections and looked after individually by a waiter.
“You will have your own person looking after you,” said Mr Lister.
The new bar will still serve food, including seafood such as lobsters and crabs as well as fresh meats, olives and breads.
When social distancing regulations change Mr Lister hopes to be able to bring more food to the menu.
“With all the restrictions you have to think out of the box,” said Mr Lister.
“Stu wanted to see something different.”
Mr Saunders said that he hopes to be able to return to the Riverside in the future.
“I now must take it a little easy for a little while so please don’t worry about me, everything is good,” said Mr Saunders in a video posted to the Riverside’s Facebook page.
“The restaurant needs to reopen with something around the cinema which is obviously going to be doing fewer people.
“When it is all ready, you will see me return and I will sort something new out to whatever the marketplace is at that time.”
While there may be a transformation in the space there will be familiar faces on site as Mr Lister confirmed that he had already taken on two former staff members from the Riverside and was speaking to more about returning at some point.
A Listers will open its doors towards the end of July.