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Popular Cookstown restaurant to close citing ‘current economic climate faced by all business’

A Cookstown restaurant has taken to social media to announce its decision not to reopen its doors after the Christmas period.

The Gaslight Restaurant, based on Loy Street, said the “current economic climate faced by all businesses and households” is the reason they will close on Friday, December 23.

“It is with great sadness that we write this post. Unfortunately, as a result of the current economic climate faced by all businesses and households, we have made the decision that we will not be reopening the Gaslight Restaurant after Christmas,” they wrote.

“We will be running as usual up until the end of Friday 23rd December 2022”.

Just a few months shy of its second anniversary – after opening in April 2o21 – the challenging economic climate has dealt a blow to another hospitality establishment.

Thanking their patrons in social media post, a spokesperson said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every customer who has visited us over the last two years, we have enjoyed getting to know you all, it has truly been a pleasure.

“Most importantly, to our ever loyal and amazing staff, we cannot thank you enough, without you none of this would have been possible, we were blessed to have a team like yourselves and we wish you all the best in the future.”

Speaking in September, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said: “Thousands of businesses are on the brink with many concerned how they will get through the winter. The cost of energy crisis is a real threat to people’s jobs, livelihoods and businesses. In what should be the beginning of our busiest period, hospitality is instead looking at how to keep the lights on. It is totally unsustainable for business to continue to pay these crippling energy bills as well as contending with a labour shortage and spiralling cost of other overheads including food and ingredients.”

The business registered to John Doyle and Emma Taube has reassured those with gift vouchers that these will be honoured stating “or those with Gift Vouchers, we ask that these be redeemed before Friday 23rd December”.

The statement added: “We have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this adventure and hope to see the Gaslight Restaurant reopened soon. As for ourselves, we are looking forward to the New Year and all that it may bring. We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope to see you all before we go.”

The striking stone building is one of the most recognisable in Loy Street and customers have been shocked to learn of their departure, with one saying: ” Gutted, always a great feed and the staff so good, I wish you all the best and be proud of yourselves for giving it your best, def will be in for salt and chilli chicken b4 close”.

Another wrote: “Nooo this is a great wee spot the whole world is a shambles and the government is not helping either! People finding it hard in every way very sad news to hear.”

Racking up a mountain of support for their final days trading, the restaurant will switch its ovens off for the last time two days before Christmas.

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