A RESTAURANT owner has shocked customers by announcing the closure of the business after seven years.

Karl Elsworth, owner of The Pack Italian Restaurant and Bar in Elton Road, Belthorn, said the decision was made with huge regret.

Mr Elsworth thanked customers for their support and said anyone with valid gift vouchers would be reimbursed.

He said in a Facebook post: "It is with huge regret to announce that The Pack will not reopen.

"We thank all of our customers for the past seven years and we have all had great pleasure in serving you. Good luck to all.

"I'm working on arranging refunds for all outstanding gift vouchers. If people can email info@thepackbelthorn.co.uk with images of the vouchers and bank details, refunds will be processed ASAP."

In an earlier Facebook post on January 4, the restaurant said it was unable to open on the weekend just gone (January 5 and January 6) due to issues with the gas supply.

The post read: "Customer notice. Unfortunately, after returning from a few days break we have had an issue with the gas supply to the kitchen and are unable to open this weekend.

"We hope to have an update by the end of the weekend.

"Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause."

It comes after the restaurant had last year been celebrating a turnover boom of 70 per cent after £250,000 makeover in 2016.

The refurbishment included the knocking through of internal walls to make it open plan and contemporary and enabling it to increase its covers from 60 to 80.

In addition the bar area was extended, a new entrance built and an outside terrace created to take advantage of the views of the Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill.

As well as retaining an open plan kitchen, the restaurant also included a wood-fired pizza oven.

Its margarita pizza has also come runner up in the ‘best pizza’ category at the English Italian Awards.

The restaurant was unavailable for comment.