UP yours’ is the message to people who have chosen greasy takeaways over a restaurant which has closed in Cinderford.
Chef Lawrence Campbell took to social media to thank loyal customers and to have a “tongue in cheek” swipe at those who have not dined at Sophia’s since it opened in Market Street two years ago.
Mr Campbell, a chef for the last 30 years, has slammed the community for a lack of support, as well as Facebook trolls for the insults they have posted online.
He said: “I have spent £100,000 over the past two years to bring a fine-dining restaurant to Cinderford.
“If I had £1 for every person who said ‘I’ve been meaning to try that’ I would not be closing at all. I have served people with generosity and kindness yet they will line up and have a kebab. This is not a place for fresh food.”
A message was posted by Sophia’s Cinderford on Saturday which said: “Well, folks, if you’re one of the many who keep on saying I’ve been meaning to try Sophia’s… better make it tonight as it’s the last night Sophia’s will be open to the public… we have a private party tomorrow night… then Sophia’s will shut its doors for good… To all of you who love it and have over the last two years supported us… We thank you and wish you well, to the rest of you, up yours.”
Mr Campbell said the message was to tell his customers they will be missed and that the “tongue in cheek” remark was aimed at those who “walk by and turn their noses up” or think Sophia’s is a “bit posh for Cinderford”.
A number of people have responded to the restaurant’s Facebook post and the majority say they are disappointed with its closure but others have made personal comments against Mr Campbell.
He said he wanted to bring a fine-dining experience to the town and claims those who have made negative comments have not even been inside his restaurant.
He blames local support for the closure of Sophia’s and that very people who operate businesses in the triangle have used it.
“This is a takeaway town,” he said.
“I can look out of my window here and there are 30-odd businesses and only two of them have been in here over the past two years.
“Cinderford is a negative town with negative people and negative Facebook trolls.”