A POPULAR Basildon fish and chip restaurant has closed down at short notice.
Hilton’s Fish Bar, inside the Eastgate shopping centre, ceased trading on Monday, July 31.
Staff members and the Eastgate centre said they were given no advance notice.
An employee told the YA: “Staff today have turned up as normal to find the place being stripped... We are all now out of a job.”
Eastgate spokesman Mike Horton said: “Unfortunately, Hilton’s Fish Bar have ceased trading from today, but we have no other information to offer at this stage.”
Attempts to contact the owners have so far proved unsuccessful.
UPDATE -- Owner Mick Hilton has insisted all staff were informed ahead of the closure and said he could not understand why an employee would claim otherwise to the YA.
He said: “The decision wasn’t taken lightly but after four years of struggling to pay rent, rates, service charges together with the footfall being down again, the earlier heatwave and prolonged good weather affecting business within the Eastgate centre over the past three months, the pot finally ran dry.
“I took the decision to dissolve the company before debts were able to spiral out of control as this would have led to payments not being made to suppliers and our employees.
“I would like to deeply apologise to our customers and thank them for our custom and support over the last four years. We are sorry it had to end this way.”