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Rising costs lead to closure of Brighton restaurant
A landmark restaurant is closing its doors for good.
Sam Metcalfe and his team will serve up their last meal at Sam’s of Seven Dials later this month.
Mr Metcalfe, who opened the highend restaurant in 2001 on the site of a Burger King outlet, said he and his wife Lara want to focus on their Sam’s of Brighton restaurant in Kemp Town.
The restaurant in Buckingham Place will serve customers for the last time on March 24 and Mr Metcalfe, who owns the building, said he is looking for a new tenant.
He said: “We are the landlords. We own the building and we will continue to do so.
“I think the Seven Dials area is fine but I think the problem is the financial climate.
“Our food and staff costs have doubled since we opened but people these days are only prepared to pay half of what they would have done 10 years ago.
“We have tried to maintain a highend offer and that isn’t cheap.
“It’s also difficult to be in two places at once. I am a very hands-on chef. I will focus on Sam’s of Brighton, which is doing really well.
“Who knows who will take over the lease here? It will have to be someone with a lot of cash.
“I would like to see an independent business on the site but if it has to be one of the chains, then so be it.”
Olivia Reid, marketing manager at Terre a Terre in East Street, said the demise of the restaurant does not spell doom for other restaurants.
She said: “Independents can thrive in this climate. They can react quicker and change their menus.
“It is always going to be difficult in the restaurant business. Margins are not high and it is true that people want more for their money.
“But independent restaurants are the way forward.”
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