A Castlerock restaurant and takeaway business has announced ‘with a heavy heart’ it is closing down due to soaring costs.
In a social media post to ‘dear valued customers’ the owner of The Village Kitchen cited the current cost of living crisis and the unprecedented inflation rates as the primary factors influencing the closure.
The venue, located on Sea Road, announced the decision yesterday evening (Wednesday).
Owner Philip posted: “I regret to inform you that after careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close our beloved restaurant and takeaway business, effective next Sunday, 17th September 2023. I understand that this news may come as a surprise, especially given how busy we have been during the past few months. Therefore, I feel it is necessary to share the reasons behind this decision with all of you.
“It is with a heavy heart that I cite the current cost of living crisis and the unprecedented inflation rates as the primary factors influencing our closure. We have been a part of this vibrant community for 2 and 1/2 years, serving high quality meals that hopefully brought smiles to many of your faces. Unfortunately, the drastic increase in operational expenses associated with running a restaurant has become unsustainable for us.
“As you are well aware, the cost of ingredients, utilities, rent, and wages has skyrocketed in recent times. Despite our best efforts to absorb these rising costs, they have reached a point where they significantly outweigh the revenue we generate. Our commitment to quality ingredients, exceptional service, and reasonable prices has become increasingly challenging to maintain while ensuring our financial stability.
“Our top priority has always been to provide you with an unforgettable dining experience, and compromising on quality or service is not something I am willing to do.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who has supported us throughout the years. Your loyalty, kind words, and patronage have meant the world to us. It is never easy to say goodbye, but I hope that the memories shared within these walls will continue to bring you joy and warmth.
“I also encourage you to visit our neighbouring local businesses, as they too are facing similar challenges. Supporting them during these difficult times will help preserve the unique character of our community and ensure that the spirit of small businesses lives on.
“Once again, we extend our sincerest thanks for your unwavering support and understanding. It has been an honour to serve you, and we will always cherish the memories we have created together. We hope that our paths will cross again someday, and until then, we wish you all the very best.
“Finally I would like to express my gratitude to all the staff who have been part of the journey from the first day until the last. Without you all we could simply not have provided the quality meals or exceptional service that we become known for. I wish all of you the best of luck in the future."
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The closure brings much sadness and disappointment to its loyal customers, with over 430 social media posts in less than 24 hours of the news:
Lynne posted: ‘So sad and angry that this is happening to you all. All these rises we are going to see a lot more business closure soon I'd say. Good luck and hope to see you open something in the future. X’
Valerie agreed: ‘I am absolutely gutted to read this. Your restaurant and take away were an asset to the village and will be sadly missed. I wish you all the best for whatever you decide to do next. X’
Neighbouring seaside business Granny Katies Homemade Bakes, hit out: ‘Sorry to hear this, However I do feel the government needs to step in to help the hospitality industry, These rising costs are getting impossible for businesses to carry on x’
Highlighting the lost to the seaside town, Mari said: ‘Aw, totally devastated to hear this, you're our go-to restaurant in the village and have been going since you opened. The quality of food and service has always been exceptional and we'll miss you so much. Good luck in whatever you do. Castlerock has lost so much with your departure.’
Agreeing Richard explained: ‘We were so sorry to hear this news. We absolutely love the food and the staff are great in the Village Kitchen. It won’t be the same without you in Castlerock. Good luck to all the Village Kitchen team for the future.’
Phil Beighton from Hegarty's Corner b&b, added: ‘Sorry to hear this, our guests always came back raving about how they'd enjoyed their meal when we booked them into Village Kitchen. Best wishes for the future.’