The much-loved Hang fire Southern Kitchen restaurant in Barry has taken to social media to announce their closure with immediate effect, citing the "state of hospitality recruitment and chronic staff shortages post-pandemic" as the reason.
In a statement on Facebook, Sam and Shauna, the owners of the venue, stated:
"The Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry has been considered the jewel in the crown of Wales’ restaurant scene since 2016, boasting a fully booked guest list since we opened and winning multiple National awards for our innovative take on American BBQ. But now, the state of hospitality recruitment and chronic staff shortages post-pandemic has finally forced our well-loved restaurant to close its doors permanently, with immediate effect.
"The legacy of the first Hang Fire restaurant will live on in our hearts. It’s been one of the most rewarding and challenging projects we’ve ever undertaken, and truly, it’s been nothing without our customers and existing staff team – and both have always been incredibly dedicated. We’re leaving on a high note, without ever compromising the quality and service that we’re so famous for. We thank every customer and friend for supporting us over the last five years.
"This isn't goodbye by any means, it's a see you later."
Sam and Shauna were featured in BBC One's "Sam and Shauna's Big Cookout" and their Southern BBQ Smokehouse style proved massively popular within the Hangfire's Pumphouse venue in Barry.
Hang Fire had to reduce their opening hours back in July of this year, closing for two extra days a week due to the difficulty in employing kitchen staff and chefs, with five of their previous staff departing the restaurant after the coronavirus lockdowns. The decision to close for good was met with sadness from residents of the Vale and previous visitors to the restaurant, with one commenter saying:
"We were extremely lucky to visit Hangfire a few times. Absolutely gutted for you all that it has come to this! Take care all and if you decide to open anything in the future we'll be first in line."
The team at Hang Fire won plaudits such as The Observer Food Monthly Best Restaurant, Slow Food Wales Best Restaurant and GBEA Entrepreneurs of the Year awards in their time in the town.