A popular Portsmouth carvery and steakhouse has shut its doors less than a year after opening.
Chester’s, in Anchorage Road, has told customers its lease is being ended early and the pub closed for the final time last Monday.
A message on its website said: ‘Unfortunately we have been unable to reach an equitable settlement from our landlords for the frequent and disruptive equipment/building failures we have suffered since our opening.’
It added a decision had been taken to close the pub early before the lease, which was initially for a year, ran out so work could be carried out.
A sign on the front door of the pub confirmed it closed earlier this week.
The pub was opened in May last year by multi-millionaire owner Mark Smith, who had spent years working in the financial sector among other roles.
Mark, from Portsmouth, told The News he was ‘disappointed’ about the closure and the pub had suffered from ‘lots of machinery issues’.
Asked whether the pub might relocate to a different location, he said ‘never say never’ but that there were no immediate plans to reopen somewhere else.
Last year the pub also became the first in the country to only take card payments, aimed at streamlining the process for customers and staff.
Customers shared their disappointment on the pub’s Facebook page.
Ben Dootson said: ‘Gutted. Best roast and steak dinner in the town, and always made to feel very welcome. Lovely genuine people. Good luck to the future.’
Sharon Yeomans posted: ‘Total shame as we found a decent quiet place for me and my partner to frequent. Let us know if you open a new place.’
And Shaun Pascoe said: ‘What a shame you guys couldn’t make this work, best food in town.’