Family diner closing after more than 30 years
PUBLISHED: 11:28 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17 31 August 2019
A popular diner which has been open for more than 30 years has closed after a two-year struggle to sell the venue.
Nick's Diner on Church Road, Deopham, served its last customer on Thursday night, after its owners, husband and wife team Craig and Sara Armitage, said they were ready to take a step back.
In a post shared on the restaurant's Facebook page, the couple said: "To our most loyal customers this will no doubt come as a shock, but believe us when we say it was a hard decision to make.
"We set out eight and a half years ago on a journey no-one else seemed prepared to take and we put our hearts and souls into transforming the diner into what it has become today."
Mrs and Mr Armitage took over the diner in 2011, having been customers of the family favourite for many years.
You may also want to watch:
The couple put the business up for sale in 2016, but have struggled to generate interest, despite the thriving customer base.
Mrs Armitage said she was shocked no buyer had come forward, and blamed cautious lending by banks for the lack of sale.
She said: "We thought it would sell very quickly because it is a busy business. We have dropped the price several times and given it the best shot but unfortunately without luck.
"We've made the right decision to close and we are ready to take stock and breathe. I don't think it will sink in until the first weekend has been and gone."
The owner said they timed the closure to coincide with employees returning to university to minimise disruption.
She added that they had been moved by the number of people expressing their support for the diner.
Hundreds of customers have shared messages to the restaurant's Facebook page, including Catherine Bailey, who said: " I've loved coming to Nick's since I was a little girl and over the years I've introduced my husband and sons to your fantastic diner - who all love it as much as me! Will really miss your delicious food and friendly welcome but wish you all the best in your future."