Businessman loses £250,000 after Gosport restaurant fails

SHUT The site of the closed-down G's Wine Bar
SHUT The site of the closed-down G's Wine Bar

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A MAN who has lost around £250,000 after his restaurant failed to attract business has blamed its location at a marina.

Graeme Card opened G’s Wine Bar and Restaurant in Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport in June 2010 but closed on Tuesday.

He said he was unable to get the number of customers he needed.

‘I put three years of my life into it, promoting it – a hell of a lot of cash.

‘It’s a very, very difficult time at the moment.

‘I gave it three years and I couldn’t see it was going to get any better, so I cut my losses.

‘There’s not enough promotion for Clarence Marina.

‘It was a destination restaurant. People have to come here and there are no other attractions here.

‘There are empty shops that have been available for three years and none of them has been taken up.’

He added he was sending back deposit cheques to people who had booked events at the restaurant.

As previously reported, a meeting of marine businesses and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage held a meeting at the restaurant to encourage marine investment.

Mr Card added the people living in the homes at the marina had not made it easy for him.

He said: ‘I had an ongoing problem with the residents making it difficult for more.

‘I could play live music every day according to my licence but I played it about four times a year.

‘But every time I played it they were complaining to the landlord.’

David Carden, chairman of Berkeley Group said it had provided financial help to the restaurant but it was Mr Card’s decision to close.

He said: ‘Berkeley has transformed a former Royal Navy yard into a successful waterside development of approximately 500 homes as part of a major regeneration initiative at Royal Clarence Marina, notwithstanding the prevailing economic climate over the past five years.

‘We have numerous commercial tenants and we continue to seek new commercial occupiers for the remaining vacant units.

‘Furthermore, we are working with the council and community on a number of heritage and cultural initiatives.’