A RESTAURANT in Irby has announced its closure due to the rising costs of energy bills.

Le Mont Blanc of Irby based on Mill Hill Road announced it had been forced to shut its doors on Sunday (July 30) after “impossible” inflation costs.

The restaurant first opened in 2022 and served European cuisine and hosted popular wine-tasting nights.

Now the eatery will be saying goodbye to its customers after its owner, Samantha Willett, announced her decision to close the restaurant.

In a video posted on social media to customers titled, ‘Notice of closure’, Samantha said: “Sadly I’ve made the decision to close the restaurant. Saturday was our last night and it was a wonderful night we had amazing regulars who came to see us off.

“The reason I’m closing the restaurant is purely down to inflation costs and gas and electric. It’s absolutely impossible for me to pay those sorts of bills, wages, insurance, taxes and to buy food and wine and everything else that goes with it.

“So, unless I find an investor, or a miracle happens then the Mont Blanc remains closed from now on.

“Over the last 12 months, we’ve had a really wonderful time and really tried to establish this lovely restaurant with fresh food, good service, lovely wines, and a nice atmosphere.

“I believe in doing things the right way the old-fashioned way but I don’t have the time to sit back and allow the business to build naturally it does take a couple of years to establish a restaurant.

“I took a chance and thought the first year we’d do okay and it is doing okay but not okay enough to keep going at this stage. So it does come with a very heavy heart. We’ve had a very emotional couple of weeks making the decision. The staff and I are very upset.

“The team is just wonderful. My team is fantastic as most of you will know, and it’s not been an easy decision to make so we’re sorry. Keep an eye on the socials as a miracle could happen over the next seven days, we could say we are going to try again but as it stands the Mont Blanc is closed.

“Thank you very much for everybody who has supported us over the last 12 months we really appreciate it we are just sorry that it’s come to this. £7,000 gas and electric bills are ridiculous there’s no way we can sustain that.”

The announcement was met with hundreds of comments from customers who were saddened to hear the news.

Karl BBailey said: "So sad to hear this but understand how difficult it is in the present environment with the energy suppliers making such fantastic profits. Your food and ambiance were great. Thank you for your service and hope opportunities present to keep the excellent standards."

Julie Robinson-Kneale commented: "This is so sad, I'm so very sorry. We loved our meal with you and have recommended it whenever possible. We really hope that a solution presents itself you just never know."

Ross Campbell Lee posted: "Gutted had an absolutely brilliant night with my dad not long ago on a wine-tasting night! Food and wine were unbelievable."

Jane Jones added: "So sorry to read this Sam, I know you have put your heart and soul into your restaurant and couldn't have done any more. The ridiculous fuel bills are impossible, especially for new businesses trying to get started, you are worthy of an investor and I hope you find one."