Belfast Telegraph

Owner calls time on new pub over mounting losses

By CLAIRE MCNEILLY

Time will be called on one of Belfast's newest bars this weekend after a disastrous six months' trading period.

Chalco's Cantina at Tilt on the busy Ormeau Road will serve last orders to its clientele today after racking up losses of £33,000 in under six months.

Pub owner Gerardo Jimenez, a restaurateur, said it was no longer viable to run the pub in the current economic climate.

The news comes after it emerged that three bars in Northern Ireland are closing every week as the recession devastates the industry.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Mr Jimenez (44) said he was disappointed his venture hadn't worked out.

"At the weekends the bar is really busy but during the week it's dead and I've had to say enough is enough," he said.

"It's costing £14,550 a month on rates, rent, gas, electricity and wages just to keep the bar afloat and I can't continue to fork out that amount of money."

Mr Jimenez, a Mexico City native who has been living in Northern Ireland for a decade, said it was the "final straw" when he received a bill demanding £4,300 for next year's music licence.

Mr Jimenez, who owns Chalco's Mexican Grill on Belfast's Lisburn Road, said the Continental Market had also hit trading, as consumers had been lured away.

BACKGROUND

Two days ago the Belfast Telegraph revealed that Northern Ireland is currently losing more than three pubs every week due to the economic downturn. Indeed, 174 here have called time on their businesses over the last year alone as the industry faces up to unprecedented trading difficulties.

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