Monkmans Restaurant in Ilkley announces permanent closure due to pressures of Covid pandemic

Monkmans Restaurant in Ilkley has announced it will close permanently due to the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday, 29th November 2020, 6:00 am

The small French and European-inspired bistro, in Cunliffe Road, shared the sad news on its Facebook page on Thursday, November 26.

Monkmans, which seats an intimate 12 tables, said the restrictions of the pandemic means it is "not possible" for them to reopen.

Owner Michael, who runs the restaurant with wife Joelle said: "Well we have had many, many highs and one massive low as we are sure that you are all well aware.

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Popular French restaurant Monkmans, in Cunliffe Road, has announced it will close permanently.

"Unfortunately it is finally au revoir and good bye from us all at Monkmans.

"Due to the restrictions put upon us through the Covid pandemic it is not possible for us to even consider reopening.

"However, we would just like to say a big thank you to all of our great friends and customers (one in the same) who supported us in the past.

"Joelle and I and all of us at Monkmans would like to name you all in person, however, I am sure someone would be missed out, but you know who you are."

He added: "It has been a very difficult time for all and we are sorry that we have not been in touch sooner.

"However, once again we can not thank you all enough for a giving us a great window in our lives and sincerely hope that you had as much enjoyment at our restaurant as we did.

"It would not have been possible without our great team of friends and staff.

"Wishing you all the best of health and prosperity for the future in these difficult times.

"Once again thank you. Mike, Joelle and all from Monkmans."

The sad news follows the recent announcement that the Matt Healy x The Foundry restaurant in Holbeck will also close.

Leeds chef Matt Healy, 36, from Horsforth, said this was due to the financial pressures caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Announcing the news on Instagram, the chef said: "2020 has been hard for hospitality, especially for independent restaurants like ours.

"We’re beyond proud of the work we did in the first lockdown with the NHS. In July, we reopened with reduced capacity, then reduced hours, then within the tier system.

"One thing after another, and then a second lockdown."

He added: "Over the last few weeks and months, we’ve had some really difficult decisions to make.

"Regretfully we’ve come to the conclusion that we need to cease trading.

"We’re so thankful to everyone that has supported us from the very beginning.

"Even before we opened our doors in 2018, we felt the love and support.

"After a chance meeting with an old friend, we made a dream become a reality.

"We’ve had nearly three wonderful years at The Foundry.

"It’s not goodbye. It’s see you later. Here’s to 2021."

Hospitality venues across Leeds have warned that the latest Tier 3 restrictions in Leeds may force the closure of many venues in the city.

Bruce Lerman, owns The Hedonist bar, is part of the team behind Rolling Social Events and also runs an events agency, providing staff, bar management, pop-up bars and creative builds.

He said he doesn't think he will be able to viably reopen before March, despite himself and many other hospitality business owners having spent millions on safety and social distancing measures.

Mr Lerman said: "It is pretty abysmal, the hospitality industry has been hung out to dry. I fully appreciate the need for public safety and don't want people to die but the facts that came out last week said 60 per cent of cases coming from track and trace are via supermarkets. I went to a supermarket the other week and it was like a rugby scrum."

Chophaus in Oakwood is a steak restaurant which opened in December last year. It traded for three months before having to close. During the first lockdown it did Sunday roasts as 'click n collect' as the usual menu wouldn't convert to takeaway. However, with another enforced closure, one of the partners Chris Walsh, said they are now looking at a specific takeaway menu.

He said: "People don't want to spend £30 on steak to take-away. It is hard to generate extra revenue. All I can ask when this is over is that people come back and support independent businesses. The thing that hurts the most is we put thousands into making it safe and and you can walk into a supermarket and people are clambering over you to pick things off shelves. It does not make sense because there is not as much spread from the hospitality industry."

At Chaophraya, off Swinegate, managing director Ian Leigh said he was almost in tears at the injustice of the ruling. The Thai restaurant is going to try and do take-away options throughout December, but added the situation was "devastating".

He said: "We were looking forward to starting up again. I am stood in the restaurant on my own, we have got the Christmas tree up but the lights are off. It is sad, it almost makes me want to cry, it is desolate."