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Tea room, pie parlour and gin bar opened at Lowestoft’s historic Ropeworks building

PUBLISHED: 13:20 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:20 20 April 2017

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. 
The Gin Landing. 

Picture: James Bass Photography

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. The Gin Landing. Picture: James Bass Photography

(C)James Bass 2017

A historic Lowestoft building has been given a new lease of life with a tea room, pie parlour and gin bar split over three floors.

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft.

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass Photography

The Ropeworks in Battery Green Road has been reopened by Mandy and Ian Harper, who also run Tea by the Sea in Pakefield.

The building was built in 1852 by the Gourock Ropeworks company, a multi-national business based on the outskirts of Glasgow trading to shippers, fishermen and merchants throughout the world. Built originally with just two floors, it is believed to have been the company’s only building in this area.

In more recent years it was home to furniture store Ananas and Dansk, and then became an antiques shop before being put on the market around a year ago by the previous owner.

It was then that Mrs Harper, who has a background in catering having previously owned A Piece of Cake in Lowestoft, a sandwich round and an outside catering company, had a vision to reopen it as a business to suit all tastes.

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft.
Pie Parlour.

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. Pie Parlour. Picture: James Bass Photography

She said: “I was sat in traffic and I saw it was for sale and I thought I have got to have a look at it. I just loved it and said there and then I wanted it.

“It’s such a big building so I think people didn’t know what to do with it, but I knew straight away.

“The building just blew me away. There is such a lot of history here and there are still the hatches on the floor where they would have hung the fishing nets.”

Mr Harper, 55, worked as a scaffolder at Sizewell for 15 years, but gave up his job last September when they took on the building.

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft.

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass Photography

Together they have turned the ground floor into Tea by the Quay, a vintage themed tea room serving light lunches and homemade cakes, baked by Mrs Harper at home. On the first floor is the Bar and Pie Parlour, offering award-winning Pieminister pies and homemade mash. And on the top floor, under the name the Gin Landing, is a stylish bar open Friday and Saturday nights with a menu of over 30 different gins among the fully stocked bar.

Mrs Harper, 53, said: “We used to go to the Gin Palace in Norwich and we loved it. Gin seems to be the in thing at the moment and we have had so many people who have walked in and said they don’t like gin, but once they have tried one of our fruity gins they say it tastes completely different and love it.”

The first and second floors were opened on March 17, with the tea room launched a couple of weeks ago.

Mrs Harper added: “Everyone loves the building and people have said it is like being in Norwich or London because we don’t have anything like this in Lowestoft.

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft.

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass Photography

“We have kept a lovely building in the style that it was before, but brought it back to life again. We are so pleased with it.”

The couple have four daughters, three of which work at The Ropeworks, with the fourth helping behind the scenes between her job as a nurse. They employ ten people in total.

The Ropeworks is also available for private hire and the top floor hosts live music most weekends. On May 16, a Pint of Science will be holding its Trash Bang Scallop event at the building as part of its visit to five venues in the Norwich area. For more details visit www.pintofscience.co.uk/event/trash-bang-scallop.

Tea by the Quay is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm, the Bar and Pie Parlour is open everyday from noon and the Gin Landing is open Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm until 1am.

The Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft.
 The Gin Landing. 

Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe Ropeworks on Battery Green Road, Lowestoft. The Gin Landing. Picture: James Bass Photography

To book a table call 01502 451496 or visit https://www.facebook.com/RopeWorksLowestoft/

•Do you have a Lowestoft story? Email the details to amy.smith@archant.co.uk

4 comments

  • Thank goodness WDC didn't have anything to do with it or it would have been demolished and another drive through fast food outlet in it's place. Thank you Mr and Mrs Harper for saving and preserving one of the few remaining historical buildings left in Lowestoft.

    Report this comment

    E Hubbard

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

  • "The couple have four daughters, three of which work at The Ropeworks." In English (and even in Lowestoft) we would normally use 'whom' when referring to people; 'which' is used for animals and inanimate objects.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

  • ATaylor is absolutely right, the Gourock Ropeworks looks lovely. It is, sadly, unusual in Lowestoft to see a building which has been sensitively updated and its origins respected. This is exactly the kind of development we need to attract the kind of visitors we wish to see, as well as providing a great venue for locals to enjoy. No more fast-food outlets, drive-in or otherwise please! Tea By The Sea in Pakefield has been deservedly successful and I hope the Ropeworks is similarly appreciated. I look forward to going there soon.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

  • This is just the sort of small, local, unique investments that Lowestoft needs to preserve our heritage and promote our town. It looks beautiful and I wish them all of the success in the world. Well done!

    Report this comment

    ATaylor

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

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