Chef James Allcock owner Pig and Whistle restaurant in Beverly, Yorkshire who has been highly critical of the lack of government support for the hospitality sector since Covid, has announced the closure of his restaurant.
Taking to social media on December 28, Mr Allcock said: “After a December with a record day, record week and record month, it is better to burn out than to fade away. That’s why I’ve come to the most gut-wrenching decision of my life, to unfortunately close. I’m just a person who’s done his best and can do no more, and for that I’m sorry. Allcock thanked industry colleagues for support but said numerous pressures facing the industry meant the restaurant would be unable to continue.
“I love the Pig and Whistle, I love our team, I love our guests, I love Beverly, but to say it’s been hard is an understatement and whilst if it was easy everyone would be doing it. I equally don’t think it’s sustainable to be this hard and when I thought I was pulling in a direction with another person I felt stronger to go on, now I’m back alone I don’t feel I can do that anymore.”
He added: “It is therefore with great sadness that I have taken the difficult decision to close the Pig and Whistle in its current form and again whilst I don’t want to be disingenuous or cryptic about what that could mean, I want to remain very clear that long-term we simply will not re-open.”
The chef said the restaurant would operate as a Pig Pantry deli for guests to use their gift vouchers while all deposits would be refunded.
In September 2022 Mr Alcock hit out at the untenable rise in energy cost when his energy bill quote, which rose from £2,928 a year to £22,516.34, describing the rise as “unsustainable” and called for a cut in VAT to help him keep his business alive.
“We don’t even take that money in a month and that is more than we pay rent – it is one of our most expensive bills behind wages. I’ve worked out that it’s going to cost £125 a day to turn the heating on in winter. We seat 22 covers, if we were full every day lunch and dinner – which we’re not – that’s £2.84 per guest.”