Sunderland city centre restaurant announces its closure

Barnett's Restaurant, Frederick Street, Sunderland.
Barnett's Restaurant, Frederick Street, Sunderland.

An independent city centre restaurant has announced it is closing its doors.

Despite building up a following after taking over the former Raffles cafe in Frederick Street in February last year, Barnett’s has served its last meal.

The restaurant was the brainchild of owner and head chef Andy Barnett, who relocated Barnett’s from its original base in the Isis pub in Silksworth Row, ploughing £20,00 into the renovation of the period basement site.

But on a statement issued on the restaurant’s Facebook page, Andy has announced the closure of the restaurant.

He said: “Some of you may already know, but this will probably come as a shock to others - unfortunately Barnett’s has closed permanently.

“The restaurant hasn’t failed as I was very lucky to have a fantastic reputation.”

He added: “I have had wonderful regulars that have supported me for years and met some really lovely people that I now have the pleasure of calling friends.

“But unfortunately it just wasn’t worth it any more, it’s a very hard business and life is too short. I will get to spend some time with family and friends and, most importantly, my baby daughter.

“There are certain customers I will message personally but it may take some time. So folks thank you very much and here is to having my life back.”

Speaking to the Echo, Andy also explained that it was becoming increasingly difficult to run a business in a city centre with little evening trade during the week.

The restaurant is the latest to shut up shop after Elizabeth’s in Bridge Street announced its closure recently.

Barnett’s customers took to the restaurant’s Facebook page to express their dismay at the closure.

Catherine Hillam said: “What a shame! Came here for restaurant week this year and was very impressed with the food as it was good quality and really lovely. Best of luck in whatever may come your way next.”

Beverley Harrison said: “I’m gutted, one of the best places in Sunderland good luck to you and all your lovely staff. It will certainly be a big miss.”