Celebrity chef Paul Rankin closes flagship Belfast restaurant Cayenne, blaming continuing Union flag disturbances
Tuesday 26 March 2013
One of Belfast's most famous restaurants has shut, it was disclosed today.
Celebrity chef Paul Rankin, who once owned a string of eateries across Ireland, blamed the continuing Union flag protests for his decision to close his flagship restaurant, Cayenne.
"Location is key in the restaurant business, particularly at a time of economic downturn, and our current setting is no longer sustainable. The disturbances around the flag protest, particularly during the Christmas period, also confirmed our decision," he said.
Cayenne officially stopped trading on Sunday.
"The lease at our current location has now come to an end and, given the change in the Shaftesbury Square area over the last number of years, it doesn't make sense to undertake the necessary investment required to continue to operate there at this time.
"The once 'golden mile' of Belfast has suffered badly from a lack of regeneration and a general decline in popularity and appearance, even the Ulster Bank with its gable end statues across from us is to close shortly," he added.
Paul Rankin is one of Northern Ireland's best known cooks. He won the country's first Michelin star when he and his Canadian wife, Jeanne, opened the fine-dining Roscoff Brasserie during the height of the Troubles in 1989.
Cayenne later replaced Roscoff at the same location on Shaftesbury Square.
But, after hitting hard times, he was forced to sell off his chain of Rankin Cafes and Rain City restaurant.
At that time he claimed to have expanded his businesses too quickly and said he wanted to re-focus efforts on Cayenne which was given a £50,000 re-vamp in 2003.
The decision to close his last kitchen has resulted in the loss of 18 full and part-time jobs, however Paul Rankin has insisted he will re-open a new restaurant.
"We've enjoyed a very loyal and supportive relationship with our customers over all these years and hope that they will bear with us while we find the right location to re-establish our restaurant," Mr Rankin said.
"Cooking is my ultimate passion and I am committed to establishing a new kitchen inspired by both Cayenne and Roscoff before it. There has already been some high level talks taking place about other exciting business and restaurant opportunities but I am open to identifying as many different options as possible so it really is too early to confirm any details as yet."
The Rankin brand selection of foods will continue to be sold in supermarkets across the UK and Ireland.
Life & Style blogs
Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
Gill Pharaoh: Healthy former nurse, 75, passes away at assisted dying clinic after deciding old age is 'awful'
Free porn websites could be shut down within months, says David Cameron
The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
- 1 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara handle excruciatingly awkward and offensive interview questions like pros
iJobs Food & Drink
Circa £26,500 DOE: Guru Careers: An International Project Coordinator / Accoun...
£25k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Plumber / Mainten...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...