An award-winning vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Birmingham is closing down.
The Warehouse Cafe, in Allison Street, Digbeth, has won a string of culinary honours but is due to shut down at the end of February.
Boss Alex Claridge said he and others involved could no longer devote enough time and energy to the restaurant and had decided to quit while they were on top.
He said: “The restaurant is a full-time and beyond project – 60-plus hours a week minimum – and it entails a huge amount of energy and resource.
“Those of us running it have other projects and family commitments, which we no longer feel fit with the level of time and energy the restaurant needs.
“Rather than over-stretch and dilute the quality of anything I do, I think it’s far better to say au revoir and concentrate on new projects.
“I believe it will be re-let and we will offer our support and advice for anyone interested.”
The venue is only opening on Thursday nights and all day on Fridays and Saturdays ahead of the closure.
Based above Birmingham Friends of the Earth headquarters, the Warehouse Cafe was voted the city’s Green Restaurant of the Year in 2011.
It was also named Metro newspaper’s reader’s best restaurant in December 2008, and was a runner-up in Observer Food Monthly’s best ethical restaurant category in 2009.
The cafe’s website stated: “We believe we are unique in our complete commitment to sustainability and our values.
“We recycle everything that we use, use bicycle courier (or foot) for the majority of our fresh produce and buy organic and fair-trade whenever we can.”
Customers took to Facebook to express their disappointment, Shaun Monk called the cafe a “beacon”.
And Jayne Hannon added: “That’s so sad! You’ll be greatly missed.”