Top restaurant closes without warning

A Birmingham restaurant has closed without warning just over two years after opening in a blaze of publicity.

Le Monde, based above Café Rouge in Brindleyplace, had closed for a refit at the end of last year and while due to re-open later in January, failed to do so.

The restaurant had employed around 20 people.

The 160-seat specialist fish restaurant originally opened in August 2014 following a £400,000 investment. It was the second Le Monde venue in the country to open after the founding restaurant in Cardiff.

However, any reference to the Birmingham venue has now been removed from the Le Monde website.

The Birmingham venue won several awards for its fish dishes, which included Dover sole, monkfish, sea bass, prawns and lobster as well as fish and chips. It also introduced daily specials such as clams, wolfish and John Dory, while it also launched an oyster bar featuring hot and chilled oysters.

Featuring an art deco style with polished chromes, chandeliers and a fresh fish and meat display, the restaurant claimed to have the widest choice of fish in the city.

There was also an extensive bar area with its own express menu and a private events area for meetings.

However, despite the acclaim, the restaurant failed to attract the requisite number of customers in what is, one of Birmingham’s most competitive sectors.

It has blamed increasing competition and an inability to match economies of scale enjoyed by the large chain restaurants.

It has also cited the ongoing redevelopment of Paradise Circus, which has effectively blocked off a major route from the city centre to Brindleyplace, and the shift in focus for Birmingham’s leisure market towards the new Grand Central development.