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Popular Belfast pizza restaurant latest to announce closure amid rising cost of doing business


Casabella on the Antrim Road Credit: Facebook

Casabella on the Antrim Road Credit: Facebook

Casabella on the Antrim Road Credit: Facebook

A Belfast pizza and pasta restaurant has become the latest establishment to close their doors citing the rising cost of doing business.

Recent months of high inflation and cost-of-living increases has seen scores of closures and popular Antrim Road Italian takeaway Casabella now said they are “pulling the plug”.

In a social media post the restaurant – which specialises in “authentic” stone baked and hand rolled Pizza – said the news was with “a heavy heart”.

“It is with great sadness that we have to announce the closure of Casabella,” they wrote.

“As everyone will be aware of the rising costs in food, gas and electric we are no longer able to continue in providing our great food.

“Over the past number of months it has become very difficult in sourcing stock and dealing with the ever growing price rises. And with a heavy heart we have had to pull the plug.

“We want to thank all our amazing customers for their support over the years and especially to our regulars.

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“On a personal note I want to publicly thank our staff for their dedication and passion for the work they have done over the years.

“Thank you all so much.”

The news was greeted with disappointment by many online who hailed the restaurant for their tasty food.

One local customer said: “Absolutely gutted for you all, best pizza in Ireland. We will be sorry to see you go.”

Another added: “You'll be missed within the community. I would like to thank all the staff, and it is so sad to see one of my favourite Italian food places no longer in the community.”

The latest closure comes after Hospitality Ulster’s Colin Neill said he fears the industry “hasn't seen the worst” of the current cost-of-living crisis.

Last week he told BBC Radio Ulster emergency action is needed and said two or three businesses are closing every week in the sector at present.

“We have astronomical energy costs, we have increased labour costs. There is only so much you can absorb and only so much the customer can pay,” he said.

“You have 72,000 jobs depending on it. We have seen the start of closures and I really fear come autumn we are going to see energy costs go up again and inflation is predicted to go up again. We haven’t seen the worst of this yet.

“We need immediate action, we need an emergency VAT cut and need support for our energy costs.”

Last weekend saw the closure of a branch of the popular Co Londonderry restaurant Moes Grill, which shut its eatery located in Magherafelt at the Castledawson Roundabout.

The Velveteen Rabbit Tearoom and Cafe in Newry announced earlier this month 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.

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