Champagne bar at Rushden Lakes to close
A restaurant and Champagne bar has become Rushden Lakes' first casualty.
Eden, on the first floor of the retail park’s flagship House of Fraser store, will trade for the last time on Sunday (December 16).
Waitress Jo Matthews said the 15 staff were told a few days ago that they would be closing and that they were devastated.
She said: “Nobody has told us what’s going on.
“We’re all devastated, we’ve told customers and they’ve been distraught.
“We’re desperately trying to see if they can let us stay open until the new year but it’s not looking likely.”
Jo, 46, said Eden had stopped having food delivered and said they were likely to run out of supplies before they shut.
She hit out at the decision to close so near to Christmas, with many people having afternoon tea or new year events booked.
She said: “To do it now is unbelievable.
“I have two children and our Christmas to pay for.
“The wages I was hoping for to pay my rent in January? I’m not going to have them.
“It’s going to render me homeless.”
Compass Group’s subsidiary business Instore operates the Champagne bar on behalf of House of Fraser.
An Instore spokesman said it wasn’t appropriate to comment on details of the contract.
The spokesman said: “Following a decision to close the Eden Champagne bar, we are currently in consultation with those employees affected by this change to help find the best outcome for them including, where possible, redeployment opportunities.”
The closure is believed to be the first at the retail park since it opened in July 2017.
Jo, who lives in Northampton, said business had been good and that it would be a big loss.
She said: “There’s nowhere like it in Rushden.
“We’re making a lot of money, business is good.
“We were one of the first restaurants to open here so everyone came here.
“There’s been days where we’ve not been able to keep up with the tables, it was that busy.”
House of Fraser was rescued by Sports Direct in a £90m deal earlier this year.
Sports Direct did not respond to a request for a comment.
When this newspaper rang the Rushden Lakes House of Fraser store yesterday staff said they had “no idea” why Eden was closing.