A town centre restaurant has announced its closure and says rising costs are to blame. 

The Bridge House on East Street, Bridport, won't reopen its restaurant after the winter break.

The hotel and garden pop-ups are not affected and will continue as normal. 

In a statement on Sunday, owners Marcus and Sara Edwards said: "After much consideration we have decided against reopening our restaurant.

"We have toyed with the idea of opening a restaurant for residents and locals since we started in 2017.  With restaurants in the family, we were only too aware of the difficulties within the industry, but it was an itch we needed to scratch.

"Rising costs have been the hardest by far, and contributed heavily to our decision.

"We are extremely grateful for your massive support, and so sorry to let you down, it has not been an easy decision.

"We will continue to recommend fabulous places to eat, within the town and further afield, and offer a scaled back menu to our house guests that don't want to venture out if its raining.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Marcus and Sara own the Bridge House

The restaurant at the Bridge House was launched in November 2022, with a focus on local produce and frequently-changing seasonal menus. It received high praise after a successful opening night. 

Speaking to the Bridport News at the time, the couple said: "“We have thought about a restaurant in the past but it was never the right time. I have chefs in the family and it’s always been an idea but we shied away from it to focus on the rooms. We wanted to put our own stamp on the place first.

"It is scary to open something new. You wonder if people will come and, of course, at the back of everyone’s mind at the moment, is the cost of everything going up. People are tightening their belts."

The couple are now concentrating on looking ahead to spring, when they will reopen their garden bar and welcome pop ups. They will continue to team up with Dark Bear, the cocktail bar in the hotel basement. 

"We look ahead to re-opening the garden bar and kitchen for burgers and woodfired pizzas Easter weekend, and we'll be teaming up again with Dark Bear and welcoming some amazing local pop ups," they said.