Popular Barry based restaurant Hang Fire BBQ has announced it is closing with immediate effect.

The restaurant, which opened in 2016, has cited staff shortages on the back of the pandemic for its decision.

Last month, it announced it would close on Wednesdays and Thursdays for five weeks due to staff shortages.

With that five-week period now pretty much up, owners Shauna Guinn and Sam Evans have taken the decision to close.

A statement on Hangfire's Twitter page read: "Today we closed the doors permanently on our little smokehouse in Barry.

"Chronic staff shortages in the post-pandemic hospitality industry forced our hand in the end.

"We want to thank the 320,000 customers that we’ve fed over the last 5 years."

The Hang Fire kitchen in Barry has been one of the jewels in the crown of Wales’ restaurant scene since opening in 2016.

It has regularly maintained a fully booked guest list since and it has won multiple national awards including the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Restaurant and Best Streetfood at Radio 4's Food & Farming Awards.

Sam and Shauna also present Sam & Shauna's Big Cookout on BBC Wales.

A statement on the restaurant's website says: "The state of hospitality recruitment and staff shortages post-pandemic has finally forced our well-loved restaurant to close its doors permanently.

The legacy of the first Hang Fire restaurant will live on in our hearts.

"It’s been one of the most rewarding and challenging projects we’ve ever undertaken, and truly, it’s been nothing without our customers and existing staff team – and both have always been incredibly dedicated.

"We’re leaving on a high note, without ever compromising the quality and service that we’re so famous for.

"We thank every customer and friend for supporting us over the years."

Last month, the business voiced concerns about whether the Welsh Government has a plan to support the struggling hospitality industry as it returns to normality after the restrictions of the pandemic.

Today's news that a hugely successful independent business has decided to close its doors permanently will send shockwaves through the sector.

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