Jenson Button's Harrogate restaurant Victus closes

14 August 2012 by
Jenson Button's Harrogate restaurant Victus closes

Jenson Button's Harrogate restaurant Victus has closed less than a year after the Formula 1 driver opened it.

The management team has blamed the ongoing economic downturn in the UK for creating an unsustainable market for a business of this nature.

The McLaren driver, who put money into the business alongside manager Richard Goddard, said at the time of opening: "It's something I've always been interested in. It's great to invest with people I know - I think that's the right way to go into it."

But the restaurant has now closed for good and a sign has been posted on its door saying it could not continue in these "difficult financial times", according to the Yorkshire Post.

Button and Goddard released a statement that said: "It's a huge shame Victus has found itself in this situation, especially when the reasons behind it are really a question of timing rather than anything else.

"We were approached by friends a few years ago about investing in this project and with over two years of research having gone into the restaurant and a further year spent on securing the right building and refurbishing it this is in no way down to a lack of preparation or understanding.

"Unfortunately the business was launched in an economy which then continued to slide and just hasn't stopped, with people simply not having the disposable income needed to spend in restaurants.

"If you're a chain you have the chance to balance out slow areas with busy areas but when you are just starting out and only have one restaurant unfortunately you don't have that luxury."

Victus, which launched on 11 September last year, had also been threatened with legal action since it opened.

Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of healthy fast food chain Leon, was reported to have sought legal advice over similarities between Victus and his restaurants.

But Button said he had taken inspiration from foreign cuisines that he had encountered while travelling the world.

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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