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Popular Co Down cafe closes due to ‘shocking rises in costs’


Credit: The Velveteen Rabbit

Credit: The Velveteen Rabbit

Credit: The Velveteen Rabbit

A popular Newry cafe announced at the weekend that it has closed permanently due to a “shocking rises in costs”.

The Velveteen Rabbit Tearoom and Cafe posted to social media on Saturday to confirm that it would be their last day of trading.

"It is with regret that we announce that today was the last day of trading of The Velveteen Rabbit Cafe,” the business posted on its Facebook page.

“To be honest the shocking rises in costs have forced our hand and although we are heartbroken we have done all we could.

“Every single one of our customers have been amazing and we appreciate you more than you’ll know.

“If you have vouchers/bookings please send us a message on Mondays and we can see what we can do.

“Thanks so much to the people of Newry for everything. We will miss the craic more then anything.”

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Online users flocked to share their support and sadness at the closure of the local eaterie, with one mentioning its proprietor Michelle Keane, writing: “Ach Michelle I’m so sorry to hear this. Your food was fabulous & your customer service was exceptional.”

Another wrote: “So sorry to hear this news. The cost & problems in the world don’t give anyone a chance.. All the best on all your adventures. It was a pleasure to know you & eat from the velveteen!”

The Newry business is the latest in a string of hospitality locations to announce their closures amid the increasing cost of living crisis.

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.

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