Celebrity chef forced to close Didsbury restaurant after rent rises by 35%

Simon Rimmer opened Greens in 1990, and has now announced the restaurant will be closing for good. Credit: MEN Media

A celebrity chef has been forced to close his successful vegetarian restaurant after 33 years in business after it became "impossible to continue" due to spiralling costs.

Simon Rimmer said he could no longer run the Didsbury restaurant, Greens, after its landlord increased rent by 35%.

The popular dining spot opened in the centre of West Didsbury in 1990, but on 2 January 2024 a statement on its website titled "Our hearts are broken" announced its closure.

It said: "With great sadness we have had to close the doors on Greens Didsbury for good after 33 fantastic years."We can no longer make it work - our landlord has increased our rent by 35%, that together with increases in power, food and staff costs have made it impossible for us to continue, we'd like to thank every single customer, member of staff, supplier and our friends and neighbours for being part of the journey."

Greens was one of the first vegetarian restaurants in Manchester, and was the first entirely veggie diner in the UK to be listed in the Good Food Guide.

Greens was one of the first entirely vegetarian restaurant in Manchester. Credit: MEN Media

Simon Rimmer, best known for presenting Sunday Brunch, launched Greens with his business partner Simon Connolly.

While the Didsbury restaurant has closed for good, its sister site in Sale will continue to operate.

Fellow TV chef and the owner of the Sticky Walnut in Chester, Gary Usher, also expressed his anger about the closure.

In a social media video, he said: "What a sad day in restaurants. Simon Rimmer has just announced that he's closing Greens after 33 years."

Gary said the closure was a "wake up call" and called on the Government to do more to support independent and renowned restaurants like Greens.

He said: "You've got to ask yourself, if somethings been open for 33 years, what has suddenly changed?

"Restaurants are closing in numbers now... They aren't working and we need help from the Government."

When the second Greens branch opened in 2022, Simon Rimmer spoke about the restaurant and why he thinks it has been so successful.

He said: “When we opened Greens in 1990 it felt that it was almost a negative as a type of cuisine - what you can’t eat and what you can’t do.

"I think we’ve become synonymous with modern veggie food by default almost and we’ve been trailblazing that path.

"I think it's the fact that 32 years on we’re still relevant and I think that’s a really big achievement.”

Fans of the restaurant shared their sadness and anger upon hearing it would be closing.

One wrote: "Such sad news Greens has been one of our favourite places to go for over 10 years since living in Manchester and moving to Didsbury."

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