Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer and ex-Masterchef contestant both close restaurants hitting out at soaring costs

Both chefs described their heartbreak as they announced the closures on the same day

Tara Cobham
Wednesday 03 January 2024 13:14 GMT
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Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer makes big career announcement

Sunday Brunch's Simon Rimmer and a former Masterchef contestant have both been forced to close their restaurants and hit out at soaring costs.

TV chef Rimmer, 60, called Tuesday a “heartbreaking day” as he announced the closure of his restaurant Greens in West Didsbury, Manchester, after 33 years.

Rimmer, who is a co-presenter on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, had opened the vegetarian restaurant with friend Simon Connolly in 1990.

On Tuesday, he posted a video to X, formerly Twitter, explaining that an increase in rent by around 35 per cent as well as the rocketing costs of raw materials, heat, light, power, employing people, and general food had made the business “unviable”.

TV chef Simon Rimmer, 60, called Tuesday a ‘heartbreaking day’ as he announced the closure of his restaurant Greens in West Didsbury, Manchester, after 33 years (Simon Rimmer)

He said: “So with immediate effect, we’ve unfortunately shut the door. It’s a heartbreaking day.

“I’d like to thank every single member of staff that’s worked for us over the years, every single customer that’s come through the door, our amazing suppliers, our neighbours, our friends and anybody who has ever set foot inside the door.

Rimmer had opened the vegetarian restaurant Greens with friend Simon Connolly in 1990 (Google Maps)

“I can’t believe I’m actually doing this message. Big love.”

On the same day, Tony Rodd, who was a MasterChef finalist in 2015, announced the closure of his restaurant Copper & Ink in Blackheath, London.

In a video posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday, Rodd said: “We are absolutely devastated, heartbroken – mainly for our team who have made the restaurant what it is, to all of our amazing guests who have supported us over the years, to the people we’ve not met before but supported us, and to all of our suppliers who we’ve grown to love. So we’re very sorry to you all. The worst decision.”

Tony Rodd announced the closure of his restaurant Copper & Ink in Blackheath, London (Google Maps)

The chef predicted the closure of many more independent restaurants in the near future, as the hospitality industry buckles under the combined strains of Covid, Brexit, the cost of living crisis, and soaring energy bills.

He added that he knew people at home were facing similar pressures. “That’s why you can’t eat out, and we don’t blame any of you for that, because we’re in exactly that situation,” he said.

“If you can, please support your local businesses, be kind – and we’ll see you on the other side at some point,” he concluded. “Thank you for your kind words.”

Tony Rodd (left) was a MasterChef finalist in 2015 (BBC/Shine TV/PA Wire)

Rimmer – who is known for his appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu, Saturday Kitchen, Recipe For Success and Celebrity Mastermind – similarly finished his statement by expressing gratitude to all those who supported his restaurant over the years.

“Thank you for the last 33 years and hopefully we’ll see you in Sale,” he said. Rimmer and Connolly launched a second Greens site in Sale in 2022, which will remain open.

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