A POPULAR Chinese restaurant has announced it is closing its doors for good this weekend after 13 years in the city.
The Water Margin, an Oriental buffet at Gunwharf Quays, posted its intention on its Facebook page earlier today.
It is a last chance as it is the end of an era.
A statement said: ‘It’s goodbye from us! The Water Margin will be serving for the last time this Sunday.
‘For your last chance to experience our oriental buffet book a table here: https://goo.gl/QH5kGt or call us on (023) 9229 3388.’
People reacted with shock at the news but the company moved to reassure them it was not going out of business.
It has an existing restaurant at the O2 Arena in London – and it said it would be looking for a new premises, possibly in Portsmouth.
Manager John Waites said the 40 staff had been offered alternative employment at its London restaurant.
He said: ‘Whether that will be practical for them is another matter, so we’d like to make other employers in Portsmouth know about the availability of some very good and hard-working staff.’
Mr Waites thanked customers and urged people to visit for a last meal.
He said: ‘It is a last chance as it is the end of an era. We were only released from our confidentiality agreement with the centre yesterday but we wanted to let people know so that they can visit, if they want to, for a last meal.
‘It is a great location, right next to the Spinnaker Tower, and we’re sad to leave but want to thank all our customers over the years.’
He said a ‘combination of factors’ had led to the closure including the landlord having ‘other plans’ for the site.
Colin Wilding, general manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘As a centre we’re continually evolving to ensure our visitors have the best experience possible and, although we are saying goodbye to Water Margin, we look forward to providing new and exciting restaurants, dining and retail experiences in the future for our customers to enjoy. We wish Water Margin every success in the future.’
Water Margin has made headlines several times since it opened in 2003, including in May 2012 when a fire caused £50,000 worth of damage and in 2007 when it was raided by immigration officials and some illegal workers posed as diners to evade capture.