Martin Read – News Reporter
Residents of the district are saddened by the sudden, unforeseen shutting of one of Horsham’s most popular restaurants – Strada in East Street. The website had been seeking Christmas bookings and everything appeared up-beat with no hint of impending closure, leaving customers shocked and distraught, because when they were in the restaurant the previous evening there was no suggestion that the business was about to cease functioning. Strada’s London Head Office were unavailable for comment but at the East Street building an announcement reads: “It is with much sadness that we have had to close our branch at Horsham due to disappointing trading and rising costs in an increasingly competitive market.” While there is no shortage of alternative restaurants in East Street and elsewhere in Horsham, the loss of the popular Strada, following the closure of the nearby French restaurant Cote (after a fire in September) has been received with great disappointment locally, as witnessed by posts on social media, including from diners who were in Strada the night before the closure when “business as normal” seemed to be the case. The company’s statement continues: “Be assured that we have offered all of our team members the chance to relocate to one of our other branches and have been fortunate to see many of them to take this opportunity. Where this hasn’t been possible we have ensured that we have offered the right level of practical and financial support as we appreciate that this is a difficult and unsettling time for all involved. We are very sorry to have to take such actions that affect our team members and local communities alike. This closure in no way reflects (badly upon) the dedication and passion that our staff have put in to serving our loyal customers over the years and we are very thankful for their hard work.”
A search on the company website for a nearest remaining Strada restaurant to our area suggests a trip to either Tunbridge Wells or Wimbledon, cold comfort for those hoping to have been able to continue enjoying meals at the Horsham branch.