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UP yours’ is the message to people who chose takeaways over Sophia's which has closed in Cinderford

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

Lawrence Campbell and his wood fired oven at Sophia's, Cinderford

Comments (9)

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.”

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  • desmondd  |  May 07 2014, 3:08PM

    He certainly earned himself a reputaion for his rudeness. It was because of his rudeness and arrogance that we choose not to eat there and I know many people felt the same. He states that he has recieved many insults but quite frankly if you post such comments on social media sites you invite them. On a positive not there are more than just two businessness that have been in the town for more than two years. So you got that wrong too Mr Campbell !!

  • BenefitsRUs1  |  May 07 2014, 2:49PM

    Sounds like this bloke needs a lesson in manners.

  • bigbad475  |  May 07 2014, 1:20PM

    Never known such a rude owner. My partner only asked for a sprinkle of parmesan on her bolognese and he insulted her and the waitress loud enough for all to hear. Was not impressed at his attitude and he wonders why nobody went there.

  • IsitJimKerr  |  May 07 2014, 11:30AM

    AnotherPeter..................no it's tinned tomatoes, and I thought he said about 'fine dining' & 'fresh food'.....LOL!!!! That aside, chefs do not generally make good entrepreneurs. Most are the creative side, and they have a wealthy partner who deals with the dosh. Like all businesses, there are risks, and one of the basic things to do, is research. He obviously didn't, ****!

  • QwertyOS  |  May 07 2014, 9:44AM

    Out of intrest I had a look on trip advisor, most of the reviews are positive, but his response to not so good reviews is unbelievably rude, one of replies asks the reviewer to dare show himself. I am all for small business, but looks like he is blaming everyone but himself.

  • Apothegm_  |  May 06 2014, 6:09PM

    Interesting that his definition of "fine dining" includes pizza, even 'posh' ones, and that most reviews on Trip Advisor refer to pizzas. Did he not do any market research to see what sort of food would be appreciated by his potential customers?

  • taylke  |  May 06 2014, 6:09PM

    Maybe some proper market research before setting up would have been a better idea than complaining now that the area doesn't want 'fine dining'. Cinderford isn't a wealthy area, neither is the rest of FoD for that matter. People spend what their pocket can bear, not what some restaurateur thinks they should spend. PS. Having just looked at the menu I'd suggest 'fine dining' was stretching the term somewhat.

  • tishwash  |  May 06 2014, 5:29PM

    Or perhaps you didn't have a good reputation ? or perhaps not what they wanted ? don't blame the locals because your business flopped.

  • mikehibby  |  May 06 2014, 5:10PM

    It doesn't sound very tongue in cheek to me. If you look on trip adviser the responses to any criticism are all very aggressive. It doesn't sound like this person is cut out for a job working with the public. It's sad when any business closes down, but you have to look inwards for any answers, just blaming the people who didn't use your business isn't the answer. You ought to be asking yourself why they didn't come in, rather than just insulting the entire town!

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