A BELFAST chip shop that hosted Rihanna and the cast of Derry Girls is on the verge of closure after being turned down for a Covid-19 support grant.
Rihanna danced on the tables in Brennan's Chippie, on North Street, for the video of her hit single We Found Love in 2011.
The chip shop has been used as a filming location for a number of productions since, including Derry Girls.
Despite being a fixture in Belfast city centre for more than 40 years, the famous chippy is now on the verge of permanent closure after being turned down for financial support by the Department of Finance because it is classified as a takeaway.
Owner Jim Brennan (60) told Sunday Life: "We're not a takeaway, we're a 30-seater cafe. Only 10 percent of our business would be takeaway, if that. We really need this help or we'll be closed for good.
"It's a family business. We've had it for more than 22 years. It's just myself, my wife and my daughter, plus one of our friends, working here at the moment. It used to be eight of us.
"It's a wee bit of history, this place. It's been a chippie since 1976.
"There's loads of things been filmed here: Rihanna, Derry Girls... it's a well-known place.
"When Rihanna came here, they shut down the whole street and she filmed part of the music video in the shop, dancing on the tables and all.
"For weeks afterwards young fans were coming in asking if they could get a picture on the table Rihanna danced on. That was great. We actually did 70 fish suppers for her and her entire crew that day.
"It was a great wee turn for us."
The cafe closed on March 16, pre-empting the first lockdown, and received help from the Executive in the form of a Small Business Support grant, which let the owners pay the bills.
Following the introduction of further restrictions, Jim believed he would receive help under the Department for the Economy's Localised Restriction Support Scheme.
The businessman, who's waiting to see the result of an appeal lodged four weeks ago, explained: "We're a sit-in cafe and we had to close.
"There's no reason why we had to be refused help.
"We need it ASAP. All our bank statements are in the red. For the first time ever, I have had to sign on. It has been really stressful for our family."
The Department of Finance said: "The Localised Restriction Support Scheme is in place to support businesses which have been required to close by health protection regulations. Takeaways are not required to close."