The premises of a well-known seafood restaurant in Co Down have now gone on the market for rent after its owners said they were closing until further notice.
The Facebook page of Copper Seafood & Grill in Newcastle last week said the business could not continue to trade under the current financial climate.
The last day of trading was to be June 19, although the owners said the closure was “a short sabbatical until things settle down.”
But the premises on the promenade have now gone up for rent through commercial property consultants Osborne King.
In a brochure, the firm described the premises as “formerly Copper”.
It added: “Our client is seeking to lease the fully fitted restaurant. Premium for the fixture and fittings and annual rent details on request. This is a ready-to-go licensed restaurant opportunity in the popular coastal town.”
In last week’s Facebook post, the owners said: “We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the years and our loyal staff who work tirelessly throughout what have been trying times.”
“This has not been an easy decision to make or one we have taken lightly. The constant rising overheads on a daily basis is hard to sustain. Recruiting the level of staff required to run the restaurant is virtually impossible.”
“Hospitality, along with so many other industries, is on its knees whilst our local government sit on their hands. Hopefully they take their head out of the sand very soon and find a solution before it’s too late.”
Trade body Hospitality Ulster this week said the cost-of-living crisis and labour shortages were hitting the viability of the industry, with some firms having to make “difficult decisions” about the future.
As he addressed Hospitality Ulster’s AGM, chief executive Colin Neill said pressures on the industry were mounting.
“Pulling down shutters for part of the week due to lack of staff, cutting menu items due to food costs, or simply ceasing trading due to rising costs is happening across the industry and interventions are urgently required to stave off the worst impacts of these factors out of our control.
“The hope that 2022 would be the year of bounce-back for hospitality has been severely dashed as we bear the brunt of a workforce crisis while also contending with spiralling business costs and a Vat rate that is stifling progress.”
Osborne King has been asked for further comment.