Newcastle’s popular pizzeria The Herb Garden has closed its doors and has sprung up.
The original pizzeria – famous for its stallion Herbie the Horse, which stood at its entrance – was one of the first businesses to open in the converted railway arches near Central Station in 2013.
Now, however, a simple printed notice has been placed at the entrance, advising diners: “The herb garden is now closed.”
A note on the company’s Facebook page was also posted announcing the sudden shutdown, saying, “Chapter Eleven The End. What a storybook tour we did. Six years ago The Herb Garden was just a dream and we had an internal passion for feeding people fresh and healthy food, but today marks our end. The Herb Garden restaurant is no longer.
“It is with great sadness that yesterday we called Herbie The Horse for the last time, turned off the ovens and closed our doors.
“Everyone who was on The Herbie G team has been amazing and continues to be amazing. We thank each of you for making the Herb Garden such a great place.
“Newcastle you are a beautiful city and we are proud to call you home. Please continue to support each other and remember to take a second every day to appreciate what you have. GREAT LOVE. The herb garden.
The Westgate Road restaurant is the second under the Herb Garden brand to close.
In December 2017, its sister site at the Royal Quays marina closed less than a year after opening,
The Herb Garden ranked in the top 10% of all restaurants in the Newcastle area, ranking 79th out of 908 restaurants on Trip Advisor.
At the end of last year, Network Rail sold thousands of railway arches across the UK – including the Westgate Road and Forth Street arches which house Herb Garden among other tenants – to a pair of investors in a £ 1.5 billion real estate deal.
Businesses working under the arcades feared rent increases but were reassured that they would be protected by a “tenants charter”.
Telereal Trillium and Blackstone Property Partners were the winning bidders for the properties, which also include scores elsewhere in the North East.