A popular restaurant in Co Londonderry is the latest Northern Ireland eaterie to close amid the cost of living crisis, stating that “it has reached the point that our business is no longer financially viable”.
An online statement from Moes Grill reads: “It is with deep regret that after 11 years in business, Moes Grill at Castledawson Roundabout has ceased trading from yesterday, Sunday 24th July.”
The restaurant’s owner, Darren Clarke said: “It has been well documented [that] the hospitality trade has suffered immensely over the last two years.
"Our gas and electric bills have nearly doubled. This would be bad enough for the business, but added to every other cost the business pays out increasing, it has reached the point that our business is no longer financially viable.
"We are very sorry to our loyal customers for such short notice but we simply cannot keep trading due to severe chef shortages in our kitchen. We have been juggling chefs from our other locations for months now and it is no longer sustainable,” the statement continues.
“Firstly, we would like to thank our staff, past and present, for making our restaurant the special family dining location you have made it over the years. Without you, it would not have been possible.”
The team also thanked its customers and the local community, and added that its chain restaurants in Antrim and Banbridge will continue trading as normal.
Its sister business Fresh Foodhall Co also just opened at The Junction in Antrim last Monday.
“We think anyone who visits us will agree the concept is very exciting and it will be the way forward for The Moes Group as we try to diversify our business model due to the travesty our industry has suffered,” continued the statement.
“We do hope our loyal customers understand our situation.”
The Castledawson branch of Moe’s is one of a number local hospitality businesses to shut its doors in recent times.
The Velveteen Rabbit Tearoom and Cafe in Newry announced last weekend that it has closed permanently due to a “shocking rises in costs”, while last month, The Red Door Tea Room in Ballintoy, Co Antrim confirmed it would be closing its doors, as did south Belfast restaurant Bia Rebel Ramen and Newcastle’s Copper Seafood and Grill.
All cited price hikes as the reason for the shutting down.
Native Seafood restaurant in Portstewart even announced that it would be changing its menu after running out of fish, saying that “Brexit and the rising cost of fuel for boats” had left them with “minimal seafood options” and estimating that the lack of supply will last for the next two months.