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Co Down restaurant latest to announce closure over staff recruitment issues and ‘rising costs’


Coulter Restaurant in Ballynahinch Credit: Google Maps

Coulter Restaurant in Ballynahinch Credit: Google Maps

Coulter Restaurant in Ballynahinch Credit: Google Maps

A popular Ballynahinch restaurant is to close its doors on Saturday for the final time, blaming issues over “recruiting staff” and “rising costs”.

Coulter Restaurant, based in Dromore Street, opened in 2021 and is owned by Stevie Higginson, who also owns and runs Square Bistro in Lisburn.

In a statement on social media, the restaurant said it had been a “long and hard few months”.

“Our last service will be on Saturday 2 July. As a result of issues recruiting staff and rising costs, our business will be unable to continue operating for the foreseeable future.

“We are very grateful for our phenomenal staff and loyal customers who helped us create this fantastic little restaurant.”

The news was greeted with dismay by customers of the Co Down eatery.

Carol Nelson wrote: “I'm absolutely gutted to hear this. Have recommended Coulters to so many people. Such a big loss to Ballynahinch.”

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Tammy Rountree added: “Gutted to hear this sad news. Loved the gorgeous food, amazing margaritas and fabulous service. We will see you before the doors close. Best wishes to you all.”

Writing on Twitter, owner Mr Higginson said: “We started this in 2019 before Covid and battled through, but sometimes with all the will in the world it ain’t enough.

“The team we had were amazing but constant issues with chefs was always a struggle. Then the rising cost issue just tipped the balance.”

The latest closure comes amid a raft of similar announcements across the industry in Northern Ireland, with many establishments blaming the rising costs of operating.

Last week Bia Rebel Ramen on Belfast’s Ormeau Road shut their doors, with Newcastle-based Copper Seafood and Grill claiming soaring costs are forcing them to shut their doors until further notice.

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