Popular Dorset restaurant closes after being placed into Liquidation due to strain of lockdown restrictions

The much loved and well known Isabel’s Restaurant in Poole has closed its doors after over 40 years of trading. South coast based Portland Business Recovery is assisting the director in placing the company into voluntary liquidation and will be managing the process for the restaurant.

Isabel’s, like many others, struggled following the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown restrictions that were imposed. Despite having a fine reputation and loyal customer base, who were attracted by the unique atmosphere and the quality of its French and Mediterranean style food, trading profitably was difficult through the challenges of Brexit uncertainty and rising costs. Plans were always to develop the offering over time and attempts were made by the director to increase footfall and sales by obtaining planning to renovate and add a new kitchen and extend with a secondary dining area to increase capacity, but this was much delayed.

Latterly the initial lockdown was a major blow to the business and even when the initial restrictions preventing opening were lifted by the government the director concluded that reopening with the new restrictions was not cost effective or viable and the restaurant remained closed. It was hoped that once the restrictions were eased further trading could recommence with a busy festive period but the opposite occurred with a further lockdown with restrictions caused by the recent “second wave” of Covid-19 cases.

Consequently, the director has reluctantly concluded that the business is no longer viable and with much sadness has closed the doors for the last time.

ISABEL'S restaurant

Support is being provided to assist employees to claim their statutory entitlements from the `Redundancy Payments Office’. Customers who have paid deposits or obtained vouchers are being advised how they may, if appropriate, be able to claim from credit card providers under the Consumer Credit Act.

Director of Portland Business Recovery, Mike Fortune commented:

“Sadly, the hospitality sector has been badly hit during the pandemic with three lockdowns and significant restrictions placed upon restaurants in the intervening period. Despite the government support through the Furlough scheme, grants and the various loan schemes available the situation for many hospitality businesses is bleak. Isabel’s is unfortunately one of the many casualties. It is truly unfortunate when a well-established business, that has potentially served three generations of the local community, is forced to close its doors through no fault of its own.”

The formal appointment of Mike Fortune and Carl Faulds from Portland as liquidators is anticipated to take place during January.