The owner of Dundee’s renowned Castlehill restaurant has been left “devastated” after announcing its immediate closure.
The fine-dining restaurant, regularly hailed as one of the best in the city, had struggled to attract regular custom in recent years.
All eight full-time and part-time staff have been made redundant. It is understood most have already found positions elsewhere.
The business was bought over by 28-year-old Arbroath chef Adam Newth in January.
Mr Newth has promised to honour all pre-paid vouchers and to accommodate all bookings at his other restaurant in Broughty Ferry, the Tayberry.
He also co-owns Dundee Cooking Academy and Tayble Deli.
All of his business interests are separate and are not affected by the Castlehill closure.
Mr Newth, who began his career as a chef at the restaurant seven years ago, said: “It’s soul-destroying to have to close to be honest.
“I have given it 100% but it hasn’t worked. Nobody is to blame.
“The staff have been the priority throughout and I’ve been trying hard to help them find opportunities elsewhere.
“I know some already have new jobs or interviews.
“I want to thank all the staff and customers for everything over the past year.
“It’s not nice to make people redundant. Nobody takes pleasure in it. I’ve tried to do right by them.
“The team have been fantastic and the good reviews we have proves how good they are.”
Mr Newth had been looking to sell the upmarket Castle Street business but no offers had been forthcoming.
Despite maintaining a good reputation with hundreds of positive reviews online, the decision was taken to close and the last day’s trading was on December 7.
Mr Newth, who has been a chef for more than 13 years, added: “The decision has been taken now because we don’t want people buying vouchers as Christmas presents only for us to refund them in January if we closed then.
“It’s a really tough industry at the minute and October and November are notorious for being quiet before Christmas.
“People in Dundee just aren’t eating out at restaurants like Castlehill now.
“It’s a tough old game working in restaurants, it really is.
“Trading in this inconsistent business environment we find ourselves in is tougher than ever.
“I have a lot of sentimental ties to Castlehill so that makes this decision all the harder.”
Anyone who has vouchers or has pre-booked a table at Castlehill should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.