Food News

Van Zeller closure a rallying cry for Harrogate foodies

Sad news today emerging from Harrogate: Van Zeller has had to close down due to the increased competition from new restaurant openings in the town.

In our opinion, Van Zeller was one of the top restaurants in Harrogate, and perhaps one that was undervalued by critics, arguably deserving more acclaim from the likes of Michelin. This is a worrying sign indeed for those who cherish the variety and strength of the independent Harrogate food scene.

With eight (yes, eight) new restaurant openings, chains seemingly running wild in all the main areas of Harrogate (with only a few like Yo! Sushi offering an interesting dining experience), it is no wonder that the independent scene is going to be placed under threat.

There seems to be no word of worry yet from the likes of Norse, La Feria, Wild and Restaurant 92 (to name but a few wonderful independent offerings in Harrogate), but the closing of Van Zeller strikes at the heart of those who fear the cultured and varied food scene in the town may be fighting for its future.

Sure, the likes of Jamie’s, Wagamamas, and Nandos have a place in the world, something we particularly appreciate when eating out with kids when you want something easy, but the decision to allow so many new restaurants to flood the already crowded market seems to smack of a lack of thought towards those who have poured their heart and soul into creating a livelihood and something special in Harrogate.

If we are to continue to see the independent restaurants, and even shops such as Weetons and The Cheeseboard, continue in Harrogate, people must show their support by taking the time to visit them. Sadly, though, as the sad news from Van Zeller shows, if the local council doesn’t stop the current trend, even foodies’ continued support may not be enough to save Harrogate from a bland, chain-orientated food scene.

Categories: Food News

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2 replies »

  1. The very same thing is happening in Ilkley. Property managers in the big chains are looking only at the demographic and area by population and saying “we need to be there and there”. Trouble is the good folk of the towns will fill the chain before supporting the specialist indie. Very sad but simple supply and demand. Same in optometry and some other specialist retailers. The message is support the independent or lose them.

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