Chef shuts restaurant after flag protests

One of Belfast’s most famous restaurants has shut.

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin, who once owned a string of eateries across Ireland, blamed the continuing union flag protests for his decision to close his flagship restaurant, Cayenne.

“Location is key in the restaurant business, particularly at a time of economic downturn, and our current setting is no longer sustainable. The disturbances around the flag protest, particularly during the Christmas period, also confirmed our decision,” he said.

Cayenne officially stopped trading on Sunday.

“The lease at our current location has now come to an end and, given the change in the Shaftesbury Square area over the last number of years, it doesn’t make sense to undertake the necessary investment required to continue to operate there at this time.

“The once ‘golden mile’ of Belfast has suffered badly from a lack of regeneration and a general decline in popularity and appearance, even the Ulster Bank with its gable end statues across from us is to close shortly.”

Paul Rankin is one of the North’s best known cooks. He won the country’s first Michelin star when he and his wife, Jeanne, opened the fine-dining Roscoff Brasserie in 1989.

Cayenne replaced Roscoff on Shaftesbury Square.

The closure has resulted in the loss of 18 full and part-time jobs, although the chef has insisted he will open a new restaurant.

The Rankin brand selection of foods will continue to be sold in supermarkets across Britain and Ireland.


A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Romantic florals to 1970s chic, fun femininity to gothic grunge —we showcase the top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas, with a focus on the most exciting and diverse designer labels.Coming at you: The top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

More From The Irish Examiner