Brexit played a part in Blue Agave grill closure, says owner, who also admits other Tombland businesses have been hit hard

Blue Agave Mexican restaurant in Tombland, Norwich. Owner Jason Coolbaugh.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Blue Agave Mexican restaurant in Tombland, Norwich. Owner Jason Coolbaugh.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An independent city restaurant said Brexit played a part in the closure of the business with the drop in sales following the leave vote described as 'staggering.'

Blue Agave Mexican restaurant in Tombland, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Blue Agave Mexican restaurant in Tombland, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Blue Agave Mexican Grill, on Upper King Street, served its last customers on Saturday night and the closure of the eatery will be permanent unless an investor can be found.

The restaurant, which opened at the end of May, is the project of Californian Jason Coolbaugh, who settled in the region with his wife, Sophie, and daughter Hana.

Mrs Coolbaugh said they expected it to be a bit slower following the vote to leave on June 23 but did not foresee the extent to which trade would drop.

'Week on week our sales fell by £1,000 after the Brexit vote. We thought it would have been slow as there was less students and people about but the drop was just staggering,' she said.


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'We have spoken to other businesses in Tombland and they have said that they have seen the same thing but they are in a better place to deal with it as they have been open longer; we have only been open since May.'

The restaurant has also been hit with higher import prices for its Mexican spices and drinks, which have risen in cost by 10pc.

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Since posting the appeal for help on Facebook the couple have been contacted by a number people interested in investing but if a deal can not be secured the closure will be for good.

Mrs Coolbaugh said: 'We are hoping that something comes of it as we have no cash left in the bank and no way of buying food to open next week. If we do get an investor it will be a temporary closure but if not it will have to be for good, which is just awful.'

The family relocated to the city to open the eatery and plan to stay whatever happens.

Mrs Coolbaugh added: 'We love Norwich. It has been really good to us, it is great for our daughter and we have made so many good friends.'

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