‘Everyone has a responsibility’ - councillor says Zaks closure will hurt town

Zak's Thetford. Photo: Zak's

Zak's Thetford. Photo: Zak's - Credit: Archant

The closure of a well known restaurant will have an adverse affect on the area, a councillor has warned.

Thetford councillor Carla Barreto says Zaks closing will be bad for the town. Photo: Steve Adams

Thetford councillor Carla Barreto says Zaks closing will be bad for the town. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk Ltd

Thetford town councillor Carla Barreto went to the Zaks in the town when she heard about it closing on Friday to speak to the operations manager to better understand the situation.

She said: "My concern as a councillor was towards both the staff and the local producers, as most of their produce was sourced from local producers.

"This will have an impact on more than just the local restaurant and its customers. It will mean a loss of business to all those that supplied to the restaurant and their jobs, which most are local small businesses already struggling to survive."

Ms Barreto has called on the town to do its part to help save local businesses.

Zaks in Thetford

Zaks in Thetford - Credit: Archant

"I believe everyone has a responsibility towards local businesses and shop locally in order to stop this trend of shops closing," she added.

"The town is considerably increasing in size so we need more business rather than less. There is also a massive responsibility to landlords, as the extremely high rents are not reflective of the difficulties that local businesses nowadays struggle with.

"Last but not least, there is a strong responsibility from both district and county council to ensure that conditions are favourable to attract more small businesses rather than less."

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Zaks opened on Castle Street in May 2015. But operations manager Rob Spillings has said the American-styled eatery had to close due to lack of business.

He said: "It's no secret that the casual dining market has been facing unprecedented challenges for the last couple of years and there is no sign of trading conditions improving at this venue.

"Whilst incredibly disappointing this decision will help ensure that we remain a strong and valued brand."

Mr Spillings added: "We've loved being part of the Thetford community and will miss serving all our loyal customers in the town, but it's business as usual at our Mousehold, Waterside and Poringland diners, hopefully we'll see some of them there in the not too distant future."