Restaurant business confirms La Lunya Manchester will not reopen

Lunya, the Catalan restaurant business created by Peter Kinsella and his wife Elaine, has announced it is to close its Manchester business.

The Barton Arcade La Lunya site will not reopen when the Government lifts lockdown restrictions on the food and beverage sector.

The owners said they needed to take the action to protect their two Liverpool sites, at the Royal Albert Dock and Hanover Street in the city centre.

Mr Kinsella said the business cannot hope to survive by running three restaurants in vastly different conditions governed by social distancing.

“As soon as we partially open with space restrictions, the losses that we will collectively make will be too great to sustain across all three sites and risk bringing the whole company down,” he said.

“No matter what projections we do and what actions we try, sadly we cannot find a way to make it all work.”

He said attempts to make the Manchester site viable through discussions with its landlord, Lunya’s lenders and government agencies had proved unsuccessful.

“Our two Liverpool sites are the profitable sites and to protect those we have had to take the very painful decision to close Manchester to give our remaining businesses in Liverpool a chance and minimise the losses that we will build up as we partially open our Liverpool sites,” he said.

“We think that we can manage with two sites opening with partial covers, whenever the Government allows us to, and certainly with the fantastic support our customers have shown us so far, we are as confident as you can be.”

Mr Kinsella said La Lunya can still service its Manchester clientelle by selling online and delivering locally, providing a click and collect service at a venue to be determined, and by putting on some of events with partner venues.

He added: “We think there is a way for Lunya to have a ‘virtual’ presence in Manchester, but sadly not operating as a restaurant, deli and bar in Barton Arcade.”

Lunya is in discussions with potential partners about a central venue for a click and collect service.

And Mr Kinsella said: “In the future, if we can find a smaller, and more cost-effective site we may well be back in years to come.”

Mr Kinsella achieved UK-wide coverage in March when lockdown was announced with his impassioned plea to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to consider the plight of the restaurant sector.

In his tweet he wrote: “I am crying (sometimes uncontrollably) writing this. I am terrified and so worried.”