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Two popular Brussels restaurants forced to close due to soaring energy costs and financial difficulties
Two popular Brussels restaurants are closing their doors - Italian restaurant La Trinacria and Japanese restaurant Kumiko Izakaya - with both citing financial difficulties such as soaring energy costs amid the ongoing energy crisis, the rising prices of raw materials amid inflation and the indexation of salaries.
The combination of these factors has created a perfect storm in a sector already struggling from years of pandemic-related shutdowns.
Kumiko Izakaya's owner Tanguy Roberti opened the restaurant in 2017, inspired by Japanese izakaya, restaurants from Tokyo that also function as bars.
Kumiko Izakaya served a variety of asian tapas, along with cocktails and beers, and became hugely popular in part due to regular collaborations with local DJs that attracted a young crowd.
But Bruzz reports that bankruptcy procedures have begun and the restaurant’s website has been taken offline.
Italian restaurant La Trinacria in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert will also close its doors to diners, with its last service to be held on 7 November. From then on, it will only offer takeaway and delivery orders as a means to try to preserve some semblance of profitability.
“Unfortunately, the financial profitability of our business is compromised and we do not want to continue to hit consumers with the spectacular price increase of the past few months,” owner Fabrizio Bongiorno wrote on Facebook.
The restaurant first opened back in 2014, but Bongiorno said that today’s trifecta of inflation, the energy crisis, and indexation has become too much to bear.
“These increases not only affect us directly, but also our customers,” Bongiorno explained.
“Our establishment is a small neighbourhood restaurant. Our clientele is mainly made up of middle-class people, who are the most affected by this crisis, because they are not helped enough. As a result, they go out less, they go to restaurants less. And inevitably, this is felt here.”
Bongiorno said he has no plans to reopen dine-in service in the future if the situation seems to improve: “We've already done that several times during the pandemic and it didn't help.”