A popular Ramsbottom restaurant has closed a bar and dining room area in its premises due to rising costs such as an "untenable hike in energy prices".

But the main restaurant area of Levanter on Square Street will remain open and it is hoped that this downsize will only be a temporary measure until summer.

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Owners Joe and Fiona Botham said the business has been struggling to cope as bills have rocketed.

In a Facebook post they said: “We’ve had to take the hard decision to hibernate the Smithy Street side of Ramsbottom – the bar and the Comedor Dining Room, for the foreseeable future.

“We’re hopeful this will just be for the quieter winter months, and we can fire it up again once the warmer weather kicks in for spring/summer and demand for the outside tables on Square Street kicks in too.

"We’ve tried everything possible to avoid this scenario – but you know the script I’m sure. The overall cost of living and cost of doing business situation, both (understandably) have seriously reduced demand and simultaneously led to huge rises in our costs from every angle.

"But undoubtedly and most seriously- the untenable hike in energy prices.

“We could probably just about handle everything else but that’s the killer blow.

“It’s impossible to keep all our doors open for now.”

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The owners added that the restaurant will remain open from 5pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 12pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

This month, the owners tweeted that their business energy number had risen dramatically.

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They said: “Ramsbottom business energy numbers are off the scale - up from circa £18k/yr to £55k/yr”.

Committed to staying open, the pair added: “We’re determined to keep on keeping on #EatLocal #ShopLocal.”

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