A celebrity endorsed restaurant, which opened to great fanfare with the backing of Jenson Button, has shut suddenly after less than a year.
Victus, a popular and seemingly busy restaurant on Beulah Street, was launched in September last year with the investment of the Formula 1 ace.
But it shut its doors suddenly on Friday, putting up a sign to say it couldn’t continue in these “difficult financial times”.
In the letter to its customers it said: “Through necessity it has been decided that we can no longer keep Victus open for business. We appreciate all our customers’ support during the development of the restaurant.
“However we are unable to sustain its growth during difficult financial times.
“The heartfelt comments given to the team during our last day of opening on Friday August 3, were very kind.
“You have all given us so many happy memories to take with us.”
The news of the closure was met with surprise by the restaurant’s customers, many taking to Twitter to say they were shocked by how quickly it had happened.
“What’s happened to Victus, Jenson?” asked Susan Burr in a tweet to Jenson Button. “We were just in there last Friday!”
Ian Gordon said he was “saddened” by the news, adding: “It was a good place to chill with coffee and papers.”
Patrick Altoft said he wasn’t surprised as the service was “terrible”, while Graeme Parker said he suspected it was because the menu never changed.
“No surprise, charging top dollar for average food often poorly cooked,” added Martin Payne. “Trip Advisor wasn’t wrong.”
Resident Helen Emsley said that while it was sad for the staff, she had been a bit bemused from the outset. “It was always at the back of the starting grid,” she said.
Mother Sadie Ayres expressed her surprise, saying: “Victus was flourishing too! Excellent restaurant, fantastic staff. Mums of Harrogate are gutted.”
She wasn’t the only mother to say she was saddened by news of the closure, Melanie Straker adding: “It was the best place in town for lunch with the kids. So gutted! It was great.
The Harrogate Advertiser tried repeadedly to contact the management of Victus but nobody was prepared to comment.