AN AWARD-WINNING cafe has been forced to shut as a result of the government’s latest coronavirus restrictions.

Marwood Bar and Coffeehouse, in Ship Street, Brighton, closed its doors after social distancing measures hampered its ability to operate.

The venue first opened in November 2009 and went on to win six Brighton restaurant awards including best coffee shop, best new bar and best use of design.

However, director Harry Petrakas announced it was to close during an emotional video posted on Facebook, which has been viewed by over 13,000 times.

Mr Petrakas said: “It has been a tough six months, not just for us but for everyone in hospitality.

“With the recent announced regarding table service, which I think is correct and it is good we are doing everything we can as a country, but for us as a business and what that means for our space, is that we can’t operate anymore.

“It’s just not viable or possible.”

The Argus:

The news was met with shock by customers on Facebook including Natasha Gawlinski 42, Steve Thompson 53, (pictured) who had their first date at Marwood and go back every year on their anniversary for coffee and cake.

While another customer, Kendal Sant, described it as "a gem of
Brighton" and that it was the "most interesting and unique coffee shop" he had ever visited.

The closure of the venue comes just days after George Thomas, 25, the head chef and co-owner of at Isaac At in Gloucester Street, slammed the restrictions as "ludicrous".

As part of the new rules, bar and waiting staff have to wear masks as do customers when they are not seated at a table to eat or drink.

The Prime Minister’s announcement last week also introduced a 10pm curfew for all bars and restaurants.

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After the curfew came into force, large queues were reported outside shops selling alcohol.

Mr Petrakas thanked the community for their support throughout the pandemic.

He added: “We tried. We appreciated everyone and all the things you’ve done to try and help us along the way.

“You know who you are.”

Marwood Bar and Coffeehouse faced controversy in 2019 when a customer was sworn at after criticising the service he received.

Neil Masey was unimpressed by Marwood Bar and Coffeehouse during a visit and voiced his opinions on social media.

In response, the Marwood Facebook account replied: “You sir are a miserable c**t, stick to Greggs.”