Belfast pizza restaurant to close - owner blames Primark fire and high rates
A Belfast Pizza restaurant is set to close its doors, with the owner blaming the high cost of rates and the effect of the Primark fire.
Pizza Boutique on Castle Street is set to close it's doors at the end of the month.
The restaurant opened as a pop up venue in 2017.
Hi @SueGrayDOF this is the rates bill for a business that turns over less than 3 k per week . Rates are x2 rent . Back in business relief denied . No reduction for @Primark fire . No surprise we are closing @belfastcc pic.twitter.com/YnVSSNNpEd— Pizzaboutiquebelfast (@Pizzaboutiqueb) April 17, 2019
Owner James Neilly said that one of the reasons the business was closing, was due to rates being twice the rent.
Posting on Twitter he said that the business had received no relief or reduction following the Primark fire.
Mr Neilly also owns two other Pizza Boutique restaurants.
Following the August 2018 fire, a number of businesses in the vicinity of the Primark building had to close due to safety concerns.
A number of other nearby businesses were affected by the lack of footfall after the area was closed off.
Mr Neilly told Belfast Live that the business had been "reset to day one" following the fire, and hadn't made any money since.
"It’s just got to the point where we unfortunately can’t go on any longer," he said.
"I don’t even think throughout the Troubles an event has affected the city like this has for such a long time.
"From our point of view once that fire occurred, we just saw that there was no magic wand to drive people down there. The council tried their best, they tried to host events, they had a go at Christmas. They did what they could to help but I think it’s just tough down there for everyone."
Belfast Telegraph Digital