Shock and astonishment have been expressed at the closure of a popular pub and restaurant in the heart of Horsham - Crompton’s at The Olive Branch.
Andrew Crompton closed his Bishopric establishment today (Wednesday October 16).
The venue employed 15 people.
Mr Crompton told the County Times he had poured everything into the business, but crippling finances pushed him into a corner.
“I’ve put as much money as I can into the business and now the barrel’s empty,” he said.
Mr Crompton, aged 45, who took on the pub from Hall and Woodhouse independent family brewers 21 months ago, thanked all his customers for their loyal support.
“It’s a sad day because we fully enjoyed the people who came, we had some fantastic loyal supporters, and new supporters all the time, but it just wasn’t enough.
“There were people who wholeheartedly signed up to what I was trying to achieve, but more and more we were being forced into a base level and a beige existence.”
Crompton’s at The Olive Branch had enjoyed a good summer this year, but he explained: “July was strong, August was solid and September was dire, and October wasn’t looking much better.”
He said ‘the whole market’s so saturated and this is nature’s way of thinning it out’, and added: “ I took a risk and it didn’t come off. If I never had a go at it I would have regretted it. I gave it my best shot and it’s time to move on.”
Stuart Gordon, owner of Apache Menswear in the Bishopric, said ‘Andrew worked very hard and will be sorely missed’.
“I’m shocked and astonished because Andrew had done an exceptionally good job in creating the right atmosphere and the right clientele. He worked very hard to do it and he will be sorely missed. I can’t believe it.”
Horsham local Ian Salisbury, 50, said: “It’s a shame. They reckon the economy is picking up but businesses are still going under - and suddenly. They had lasted through the hard times.”
Esy Golchin owner of the Merrythought Restaurant, added: “It’s very disappointing, I’m really really upset. It’s a nice place to drink with a nice atmosphere. Andrew is a really nice guy and all the staff are really friendly.”
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