Market town hit by restaurant closure

MYSTERY surrounds the sudden closure of a Michelin Guide-listed restaurant in a Suffolk market town.

Russell Claydon

MYSTERY surrounds the sudden closure of a Michelin Guide-listed restaurant in a Suffolk market town.

Off The Square has shut its doors to customers in Framlingham with no explanation of when it may open again.

Tables at the Church Street bistro, which received national recognition in last March last year when it was recommended in the Michelin Great Britain Guide, are still laid up.


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Off The Square is the second premise to shut its doors in Church Street in a matter of months, following on from the closure of delicatessen Carley and Webb in November, where food was even left on display in the shop.

No sign has gone up in the window of Off The Square to explain the closure and a recorded answer phone message simply states the restaurant is no longer open at present.

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It says: “Thanks for calling Off The Square but at present we are no longer open until further notice.”

The restaurant is mentioned in the prestigious Michelin Guide for its “buzzy, informal atmosphere and classic cooking”.

Suffolk Coastal District Council said it knew nothing about the closure of the restaurant, which occupies a Grade II listed building, until being contacted by the EADT.

Stephanie Bennell, Framlingham Town Council chairman, said it appeared to have closed more than a week ago but locals were still none the wiser about the reasons why or when it might reopen.

“No-one has got an idea what is going on,” she said. “It was done very quickly and there was no notice at all.

“It was open a week or so ago on Sunday. Monday night it is usually open and it did not open Tuesday.

“The tables are still well laid up with cutlery and glasses.”

She added: “It is not good for the town but the town as a whole is holding up pretty well. It could have just been that there were too many food places. We are not in the visitor season anymore.”

Colin Hart, Suffolk county councillor for Framlingham, said: “It appears to be a very regrettable sign of the times.”

No-one could be contacted to comment on behalf of either business at the time of going to press and it is believed the owners of Off The Square live outside of Framlingham.

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