A LEADING Wigan restaurant has become the latest victim of the economic downturn.
The popular Stables Brasserie will close nextweeked, with a farewell party for shocked regulars and staff.
Owners David Lancashire and his wife Jeanne blame rising energy and food cost and a drop-off in trade for the decision to shut the highly-rated venue in Millgate, which has been open for the past four and a half years.
Announcing the closure, the couple hit out at what they claim has been a “trebling” in business rates since 2011 and attacked the council for imposing “massive parking restrictions” in the town centre.
The couple both gave up careers in the hospitality industry to plough “absolutely everything we own and fulfil a lifelong dream” to open a restaurant of their own in Wigan town centre.
They were particularly proud when it was named ‘New Business of the Year’ in 2010.
Mr Lancashire said: “Despite the country going into recession, we sacrificed our children’s stable family life and risked our home and everything in it,
“Every day since then we have walked our beautiful daughters to school and kissed them good night in the school playground so we could put our absolute heart and soul into creating what we truly believed was a great restaurant, amazing food, great service and value for money.
“A massive sacrifice but worth it long term. In a family business, everyone plays their part and we have all helped to create it, it truly belongs to us and we did it.
“We built up a core of incredibly loyal regular customers, a lot of whom see us as family rather than ‘somewhere to eat’.
“Our concept was that if one walked through the door, one was treated like a guest in our home.
“We love what we do, are immensely proud at what we have achieved, and are happy that we have given our absolute all to the business and our customers, we have explored every avenue to keep the business afloat but the time has come to admit defeat and accept the closure of the chapter.
“But four and a half years later, due to rising costs and falling turnover - basically, we’ve run out of money - we reluctantly have to announce that we are closing our doors for the last time.
“Like everyone, we have been hit hard by outside influences, rising product costs, business rates trebling in three years, massive parking restrictions, job redundancies.
“Due to the current financial climate, restaurants such as all you can eat carveries and buffet restaurants have flourished and fresh restaurants like ourselves have unfortunately diminished.
“It seems we are no longer providing what the ‘consumer’ wants.
“We both feel that we have consistently endeavoured to provide fresh, tasty food at reasonable prices and will continue to do so until the very end. We will not compromise on quality of ingredients or service and never will do.”