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Cult Cafe: Going from strength to strength since 2013!

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Cult Cafe: Going from strength to strength since 2013!

Cult Cafe opened its doors a mere two years ago but has already become a local indie favourite, with Ippies more than willing to make the pilgrimage out of the town centre to visit it

Cult Cafe’s menu consists of no fuss, locally sourced, diner-style food. Options include; burgers, hot dogs, tasty sandwiches and Poutine (What’s Poutine I hear you ask? Well if you have any Canadian pals, they will tell you that it’s the greatest dish ever invented. Ultimately it’s only chips, cheese, sometimes meat, and a gravy like sauce but that is evidently a winning combination – try the Adobo Pork Poutine if you want to go all fancy.

The decor of Cult is one part reminiscent of a mismatched living room from the 1970s, one part Clockwork Orange with sprayed black mannequin legs emanating behind the pool table. and one part trendy student bar. It’s basically got something for everyone and the people of Ipswich are loving it.

Due to its proximity to UCS and Suffolk New Buildings, and it’s more than reasonably priced food, Cult obviously appeals to the town’s student population, but it is definitely not limited to that demographic at all. The outside seating area on a sunny day will be heaving with groups of women sipping on wine, parents and children with the family dog in tow, and teenage skaters taking advantage of the newly concreted area outside the bar.

The live music that Cult hosts is as patchwork as its patrons (and its decor) with recent gigs including the likes of the bluesy Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, the pop-punk powerhouse that is local band Underline the Sky and the chilled acoustic songs of singer songwriter (also local) Keith Sadler.

This place is definitely a real gem in the town’s community of independent businesses and an opportunity to sit outside on a sunny day with a cold beer and a view of the marina should not be passed up lightly.

I asked Mike Keen, owner of Cult and also The Brewery Tap, a few questions about life as a business owner in Suffolk and what he is most excited about for the future..

What inspired you to open Cult?
We saw that the space was up for tender through the uni – I’d passed it plenty of times but had never been in as I thought it was just for students. It was in such a great location we couldn’t understand why it wasn’t a vibrant, successful business! As soon as we saw inside we knew we’d regret not going for it. Georgie has a real eye for design and the eclectic mix of furniture, lights, and furnishings has made it a place where we’d love to go.

What are some of the advantages of living and working in Ipswich/Suffolk?
There’s such a great community feel within Suffolk – the food network of producers/suppliers/manufacturers/consumers is a genuine, well-intentioned, successful system – all based on incredibly high quality food and drink. You’d be hard pushed to find anywhere better.

What would you like to see more of in the local area?
More pride in what’s going on – we have a lot of things going for us here. We should definitely be proud of that.

The strong community feel, historic ties combined with the beautiful scenery makes us a great destination.

What upcoming events at Cult are you most excited about?
I love the live music every Friday – it’s a real passion of mine. To get bands that have never been this way before who are actually incredible is an absolute joy. Summer is great – Ipswich punches well above its weight when it comes to laying on events. The Maritime Festival is a real draw and raises the profile of the town, cycling features heavily and many of the events such as Crafted Classique, start and finish outside of us, which we’re really excited about.

Follow Cult on Twitter @CultCafeBar


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