Michelin star chef Thomas Carr is to close his Seafood and Grill restaurant just nine months after opening.

Thomas Carr at The Olive Room in Ilfracombe. Picture: Charmain LovettThomas Carr at The Olive Room in Ilfracombe. Picture: Charmain Lovett

The chef opened the Seafood and Grill Restaurant in February off the back of a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, but admitted a ‘tough economical climate’ had affected the business.

Thomas’s latest venture had gained various accolades since opening, including a Michelin Recommendation last month.

His Michelin starred restaurant, Thomas Carr at The Olive Room, will continue to operate as normal.

Thomas said the decision was a ‘bittersweet’ one.

He said: “We’re immensely proud of the recognition that the Seafood and Grill has gained in such a short time and of the fantastic team that worked so hard together, but the reality is that in a tough economical climate, it is extremely hard to maintain such a high standard of food and service in a restaurant the size of the Seafood and Grill whilst still being able to run a profitable business.”

“We really did try our hardest to make it a success, but it just hasn’t worked out.

“I do feel it’s a shame for Ilfracombe to lose another of its quality dining spaces, especially with The Habit, The Quay and The Gendarmerie closing over the last 18 months, but if we kept trying to run the business it would have ultimately affected our guests experience as well as the enthusiasm and effort of the team and that’s not what we would want to see.”

Work is now ongoing to ensure minimal inconvenience for those who had reservations at the restaurant, had backed it on Kickstarter or had purchased vouchers.

“We’re confident that for a large majority of bookings we can honour reservations by offering them tables and exclusive menus at The Olive Room,” said Thomas.

“All I can say at the end of the day, we tried.

“A lot of chefs struggle with their second restaurant and I can see why, but we had to give it a go and it’s certainly an experience we’ve learnt from.

“We’re now even more committed to keep building The Olive Room and do our part to ensure that Ilfracombe remains the foodie capital of Devon”