Simon Rimmer’s Viking Pub and Bakehouse has closed down, West Kirby Today can exclusively reveal.
Staff at the venue were informed earlier today, and letters have been sent making them redundant with immediate effect.
People phoning to book a table are being told it is shut.
The much-vaunted venture opened in June 2016 in a blaze of publicity, featuring a Scandinavian theme to celebrate West Kirby’s heritage.
Much was made of its links to the star of Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, with regular themed nights giving guests the opportunity to meet the chef, who is originally from Wirral.
The site has had numerous changes in ownership in recent years – prior to being The Viking it was The Hilltop, before that The Collingwood and for decades was The Black Horse.
A statement on The Viking website says: “The Viking opened in 2016 with the goal of bringing a modern British pub to West Kirby. During the first two years it proved extremely popular and consistently delivered a high-quality guest experience.
“More recently, however we have found it more challenging to maintain this level of experience. After a lot of consideration and a period of review, we have concluded that closing is the best option with immediate effect. Our priority is our team and we aim to preserve as many jobs as possible and will offer alternative positions within the business where we can.”
It adds: “If you have paid a deposit for your booking, then our team will be in touch over the next few days to apply refund and, wherever possible, assist with alternative booking options. If you haven’t paid a deposit, then we propose that we do not contact you and the booking is now cancelled.”
West Kirby Today has approached parent company Mission Mars for a statement.