Shropshire Star

Bosses of Shrewsbury cocktail bar confirm its future after restaurant next door closes down

Shrewsbury's Cuban-inspired cocktail bar will remain open after the restaurant next door closed earlier this week.

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Havana Republic at Abbey Foregate is staying open

Havana Republic, in Abbey Foregate, was intertwined with The Peach Tree restaurant with shared back of house facilities, until bosses announced the latter's closure on Thursday.

However, they have confirmed the bar, which is open during the evening and into the early hours between Fridays and Mondays, will continue to trade, run by the team that operates The Buttermarket nightclub in Howard Street.

In a statement bosses said: "Havana Republic will continue to open and operate as normal by The Buttermarket Ltd."

The Peach Tree's closure had saddened hundreds of people, with the announcement on the restaurant's Facebook page receiving almost 500 comments and more than 900 reactions.

Opened in 1997, the restaurant's owners said it would be closing with "immediate effect".

The Peach Tree has closed with immediate effect

A statement from Paul Monahan, director at The Peach Tree Restaurant Ltd, said the "unavoidable" decision was taken with a "very heavy heart".

In a statement he said: "The restaurant has been making substantial financial losses on a weekly basis throughout this year, and despite the best efforts of the management and team, it has got to a point where we are no longer able to trade.

"Numerous factors have impacted significantly on our operation: the massive impact of Covid on all hospitality venues; the huge difficulty in recruiting competent and proficient staff and management members since Brexit; the significant rise in energy costs and food prices; and the considerable impact of the financial instability created by the mini-budget in September. Frankly, we have now run out of time in which to turn things around."

Mr Monahan said 2022 had been "unquestionably been the most stressful year we have ever known", and the business has been "a shadow of its former self since the venue re-opened after Covid - and indeed running at 40 per cent lower sales this year than pre-pandemic 2019 levels".

The Peach Tree had a fully booked Christmas party season starting next weekend, and customers with bookings will be contacted over the coming days.

"We have tried our very best to fulfill our commitment to those people who had chosen to celebrate Christmas with us, and cannot apologise enough for the disappointment and inconvenience this will undoubtedly cause," Mr Monahan added.

"No business sets out to fail, and we are totally gutted that it has come to this. We truly hope that someone will come along to breathe new life into this remarkable venue in Abbey Foregate and return it to its former glory. Any interested parties should contact Halls in Shrewsbury."

In July the building housing Havana Republic and The Peach Tree was put up for sale for £1.8 million.