Shock closure of top Harrogate restaurant

Paul Rawlinson, director of Norse restaurant.
Paul Rawlinson, director of Norse restaurant.

Leading restaurant Norse on Swan Road in Harrogate is to close with immediate effect just months after it publicly asked for support from guests.

Norse released a blog post in early January explaining the challenges the restaurant was facing that was widely read within the industry that prompted food critic Jay Rayner to lend his support and resulted in a positive Sunday Times review by Marina O’Loughlin.

Shortly afterwards, the restaurant returned to a more traditional a la carte format alongside their tasting menu option and also introduced an early bird offer, but this has been unsuccessful.

A statement on the website said:

“In January we changed our format and launched a new style of menu that gave us hope, but we simply haven’t been able to attract the number of guests that a business like Norse requires on a consistent basis.”

It went on to say:

“The team deserve huge plaudits for their hard work over the last 4+ years, we truly believe the food and service is as good right now as it has ever been.

"The closure is not a reflection on the talent or the effort of the people working in the business on a daily basis – right up until the last service the feedback has been very positive.

"We’re closing a restaurant that many people love.”

The town has seen a number of chain restaurants disappear in recent months including both Jamie’s Italian and Byron whilst Yorkshire’s first Ivy Brasserie, opened earlier in the year, anecdotally seems to be performing well.

Director Paul Rawlinson said:

“I don’t blame the failure of the restaurant on conditions within the industry, Brexit or any other external factors. I had a talented team and a lovely space – I just didn’t do a good enough job of telling our story and convincing people to step through the doors.

"Life in town centres is tough right now and independent shops, restaurants and businesses need our continued support. It was a pleasure to feed and host so many happy people over the years, it’s sad for all involved that this is how it ends.”

Norse was a Nordic influenced restaurant that opened originally within Baltzersen’s café in the centre of Harrogate.

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign in February 2017 it moved to a stand-alone location on Swan Road.

Norse has been listed in the Good Food Guide, Michelin Guide and retained 2 AA Rosettes in 2017/2018.

In good news, the highly popular Baltzersens cafe in Oxford Street is continuing for business as normal.