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Anatolia Mediterranean Grill & Cocktail Bar in Haverhill has closed due to rising costs





‘Spiralling costs’ have driven the owners of a restaurant in Haverhill to say ‘enough is enough’ and close their doors after 17 months in business.

Anatolia Mediterranean Grill & Cocktail Bar, next to Cineworld in Ehringshausen Way, closed yesterday and its owners Wendy and Ali Yagir are now in the process of clearing out the building – as well as having to cancel advance booking made, including a wedding reception and Valentine’s Day reservations.

The couple have owned Starburger café in Queen Street, Haverhill, for 11 years and in December 2020 they launched Star Grill on the same premises, offering Turkish food and drink in the evenings, while running the already well established café during the morning and afternoon.

Ali and Wendy Yagir pictured outside Anatolia Mediterranean Grill & Cocktail Bar when it opened in Haverhill.Picture: Richard Marsham.
Ali and Wendy Yagir pictured outside Anatolia Mediterranean Grill & Cocktail Bar when it opened in Haverhill.Picture: Richard Marsham.

Star Grill proved to be very popular and needing more space for the growing clientele they expanded with a move into the Ehringshausen Way premises – following the closure of Crunchys, which operated from the site for about six months.

But with the combined costs of rent, business rates and high energy bills – they pay double the amount per kilowatt at Anatolia than they do at Starburger – the business has become unsustainable.

Wendy said: “We have just decided enough is enough.

In December 2020 Wendy and Ali Yagir opened Star Grill inside their existing café, Starburger in Haverhill.Star Grill served Turkish cuisine in the evenings to complement its daytime trade.Picture: Mecha Morton
In December 2020 Wendy and Ali Yagir opened Star Grill inside their existing café, Starburger in Haverhill.Star Grill served Turkish cuisine in the evenings to complement its daytime trade.Picture: Mecha Morton

“Ali doesn’t sleep. It’s every month we are looking at who can wait, who can’t and I said to Ali it’s not enjoyable any more.

“It’s enjoyable for lots of other people but not for us.

“People are saying ‘ but you are always full’. On a Friday and Saturday yes, but not in the week.

“I’m afraid it’s all got too much. We are losing a fair bit of money, but rather that now than more later.

Inside Anatolia. Picture: Richard Marsham
Inside Anatolia. Picture: Richard Marsham

“It’s not the end of us. We are thinking of doing something else.

“We might even go back to doing what we did before at Starburger because we’ve got a really loyal following now.

“We think that if we can drag at least half of them there, we can do alright.

“If we can’t make it work (here) I don’t know who can.

“We’ve got a lot of support here but it’s not enough to fill this place seven days per week.

“The overheads here are huge whereas if we go back to where we were we have got no overheads because we are already there.”

The size of the restaurant also proved to be an issue, said Wendy, and had it been a bit smaller, it may have survived.

At least ‘five to six’ members of staff have already left, said Wendy, but some are waiting to see what she and Ali do next in the hope that they may still have a job.

Wendy said she and Ali were considering at the end of last year whether to continue with the restaurant, adding: “We said let’s get Christmas done and it was a good good Christmas then January came and the end of January and February – and it just died.”