A leading Sligo restaurant owner has warned of uncertain times ahead for the sector due to Brexit.Anthony Gray, who is celebrating the first birthday of his Hooked Restaurant on Rockwood Parade says while it has been an amazing first year “despite the unexpected challenges thrown at us by the recent budget” all was not rosy in the hospitality industry.
“We have seen a dramatic turndown in the number of visitors from the North due to the devaluation of sterling. Now, we are facing unchartered waters with Brexit looming. These are worrying times for all of us,” said Anthony, a past president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland. Anthony remains positive and pledges to support local business. “We will continue to support local producers and suppliers to help them get through these tough times too.
“I welcome the new venues which have recently opened in Sligo. They give much needed jobs and demonstrate the positive spirit which makes Sligo stand out from other towns. We will rise above the VAT rate change and any other obstacles put in our way. Our customers can depend on us for the best atmosphere, the best service and of course the best food,” he said. Hooked is Anthony’s second restaurant in Sligo and has won awards such as the Bord Bia “Just Ask” Restaurant of the Year, Best Newcomer of the Year at the Yes Chef Awards, Best Newcomer in Connaught in the Irish Restaurant Awards. “Sligo certainly does seem to be going through a restaurant boom at the moment with no less than four opening in the past couple of weeks, Shake Dog on Wine Street beside the Omniplex Cinema, Flipside on Thomas Street, a new Mexican outlet on Tobergal Lane and an Asian restaurant on Grattan Street.