Search

Restaurant announces shock closure after virus creates ‘different world’

PUBLISHED: 17:34 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 11 August 2020

Colchester restaurant Grain is closing down for good amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Colchester restaurant Grain is closing down for good amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The owners of Grain restaurant in Colchester are closing the site for good due to the “uncertain future of the hospitality industry”.

Grain restaurant in Colchester is closing after four years. Picture: LUCY TAYLORGrain restaurant in Colchester is closing after four years. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The restaurant has served customers in the town’s North Hill since 2016 and it was described by our food editor as “some of the best food” she has ever eaten.

MORE: Why you have to visit Grain in Colchester right now

Co-owners Paul Wendholt and Jordan Sidwell – who are both well-known chefs in the area – opened the restaurant after donors helped raise £10,000 more than four years ago.

The ‘secret’ restaurant – which is tucked away on North Hill – has been highly-rated among people in Colchester ever since, serving starter-sized portions to give customers the option of creating their own tasting menu.

The friends turned business partners said it is with a “heavy heart” that Grain will officially close on October 17 – but it will be business as usual until then.

Speaking of the closure, Mr Wendholt said there is a concern over how coronavirus will impact the restaurant in the future.

Mr Wendholt said: “We have the option to renew our lease with a new term of 10 years, which is quite a commitment in the current circumstances.

“By making this decision to close it allows us to take control of the situation.

“It is a different world out of lockdown to the one before, and we just don’t know what is going to happen, especially if there is a second wave.”

Mr Wendholt said Grain will host a send-off to thank customers for their loyalty over the years.

“We understand this is sad news for all of our customers,” he said. “But this is not the end of Grain completely, it is just a bump in the road.”

Mr Wendholt said he and his co-owner Jordan Sidwell have “differing ambitions” and the business has come to a natural end.

Mr Wendholt hopes to open a new restaurant in the future, but says the pair have taken Grain “as far as they could” over the last four years.

He said: “To every single one of our customers, we have nothing other than sincere gratitude for your love and support since day one. Never more so than the last month since coming out of lockdown.

“There is no shadow of doubt that we would not have made it this far without you all.

“This is a ‘see you later’, not a goodbye.”

MORE: ‘It is a dramatic situation’ – Suffolk companies unite to help save events industry


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times