Nick Hill

Harrogate restaurant announces immediate closure

Harrogate restaurant Norse is to close with immediate effect just months after publicly asking for support from guests.

Back in January, Norse released a blog post explaining the challenges the restaurant was facing.

The post was widely read within the industry and food critic Jay Rayner gave his support which resulted in a positive Sunday Times review by Marina O’Loughlin.

Shortly afterwards, the restaurant returned to a more traditional a la carte format alongside a tasting menu option and also introduced an early bird offer. These efforts, however, have proved unsuccessful.

A statement on the website said: “In January we changed our format and launched a new style of menu that gave us hope, but we simply haven’t been able to attract the number of guests that a business like Norse requires on a consistent basis.

“The team deserve huge plaudits for their hard work over the last 4+ years, we truly believe the food and service is as good right now as it has ever been.

“The closure is not a reflection on the talent or the effort of the people working in the business on a daily basis – right up until the last service the feedback has been very positive. We’re closing a restaurant that many people love.”

The town has seen a number of chain restaurants close in recent months including both Jamie’s Italian and Byron.

Paul Rawlinson, director of Norse, said: “I don’t blame the failure of the restaurant on conditions within the industry, Brexit or any other external factors.

“I had a talented team and a lovely space – I just didn’t do a good enough job of telling our story and convincing people to step through the doors.

“Life in town centres is tough right now and independent shops, restaurants and businesses need our continued support. It was a pleasure to feed and host so many happy people over the years, it’s sad for all involved that this is how it ends.”

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