A FAMILY fun restaurant in Cheshire West has announced it is closing its doors after a challenging two years in business.

Sticky Paws in the Flavour Forest, opened on Barons Quay, Northwich, in March 2020 - just one week before the first Covid lockdown - will close its doors on Wednesday, May 18.

Staff members have been informed and all 31 have been offered alternative jobs at the company’s main site, The Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall.

Barons Quay centre manager, Lina Higuita said: "We wanted to bring innovative, new experiences to Barons Quay and change perceptions of the modern shopping centre.

"Since opening in March 2020, Sticky Paws in the Flavour Forest has been popular with local people, but unfortunately, because of the pandemic it has only been open 51 weeks out of a possible 113, which has not allowed the business to become established.

"We’ve worked hard to help all tenants during and post Covid, which has proved particularly difficult for hospitality businesses. 

"We are extremely sad to see Sticky Paws close, but we are confident that we’ll find a new operator for the space very soon."

Chester and District Standard: Inside the Sticky Paws play area in Barons QuayInside the Sticky Paws play area in Barons Quay

Jonathan Fell from Sticky Paws said: "Sticky Paws was an exciting new concept that we wanted to bring to Northwich. 

"However, the timing could not have been worse for us, opening just one week before the first Covid lockdown. 

"This terrible timing has greatly affected the business and sadly it's never really been given the chance it deserved.

"The pandemic has prevented us from reaching projected sales plus it has caused a recruitment crisis in hospitality that has impacted both of our businesses. 

"Despite the support we have received from Barons Quay and Cheshire West and Chester Council, we regret that we have to close Sticky Paws, in order to focus on our core business.

"We’d like to thank all of the customers who have visited us and for all their positive feedback over the last two years."

Councillor Richard Beacham, cabinet member for inclusive growth, economy and regeneration, said: "It is disappointing to hear that Sticky Paws will no longer be featured at Barons Quay.

"Despite a difficult start due to the pandemic, we remain confident that there is a market for children’s play activities in the town centre.

"I understand why the owners currently want to focus on their core business post Covid-19 and am glad they are being proactive in supporting staff to find future employment or to take up alternative roles at The Ice Cream Farm if they wish to do so.

"Looking to the future, the council has some exciting ideas for the unit and we are working to secure a new tenant.

"Barons Quay is an attractive location and this unit is a great prospect for a fun business considering trading in Northwich."