Michelin-starred Aberystwyth restaurant SY23 to close

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Michelin-starred Aberystwyth restaurant SY23 to close

Related tags SY23 Michelin Nathan Davies Restaurant Fine dining Cost of living Closure Inflation

Michelin-starred Aberystwyth restaurant SY23 is to close its doors at the end of the year, with its owners blaming 'the unprecedented challenges of the current financial climate'.

In a statement to the press, Mark and Rhian Phillips, who own SY23 under their Wales-based Why Not Bar and Lounge group, confirmed that the restaurant will cease operations this Saturday, 23 December. 

They said: “It is with a heavy heart that Rhian and I have reached the difficult decision to close SY23 restaurant due to the unprecedented challenges of the current financial climate. We regret to inform you that after much consideration, we have found it necessary to cease operations on Saturday, December 23rd, 2023.”

The decision comes after SY23's chef patron Nathan Davies announced last week that he was leaving the restaurant​ following what he described as 'fairly significant changes' to the way the business was being run. 

In their own statement, the Phillips said they had given Davies and his partner Hollie the opportunity to take on the business, but they had chosen not to accept the offer.

SY23 launched in December 2019, but by March the next year was forced to close when the pandemic hit.

The restaurant, which serves a tasting menu of foraged and local ingredients used fresh or preserved that are cooked over fire, was named by Michelin as the Opening of the Year in 2022​ and was also awarded a Michelin star, having only been open for trade less than 10 months​.

“Since our opening in late 2019, the restaurant industry has faced extraordinary difficulties, and Rhian and I have made sacrifices that have been greater than most people can imagine,” the Phillips' statement continued.

“Despite the challenges, we have had some remarkable successes during our time at SY23. We are proud to have achieved a Michelin star, been recognized as the best new opening in 2022, received the Jurors award, and earned three stars from the world of fine wines. These accolades have been a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, and we are incredibly grateful for the recognition and support we have received from the community.”

The pair added that while the doors to SY23 may be closing, their long-running court battle against the insurance companies related to a business interruption claim during the Covid pandemic will continue.

“If anything, our situation today only strengthens the importance of this case, and the responsibility that the insurance companies have to small businesses. Our case will be heard in the High Court of Appeal, during June, 2024. This will enable other businesses, not only in hospitality, to pursue their claims.”

SY23 is currently listed at number 96​ on the National Restaurant Awards top 100 list.

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