Legendary Sheffield restaurant to close ‘in next few weeks’

Up to 90 jobs are to go after a legendary Sheffield restaurant announced it would close in the next few weeks.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 5:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 6:33 pm

Damon’s American diner on Sevenairs Road in Beighton will close next month after almost three decades in business.

The company is yet to confirm the news formally but multiple staff members have revealed the news on Facebook pages including Killamarsh Voice.

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Damon's restaurant at Crystal Peaks.

One, Katie Kirk, said: “It’s with a very heavy heart I say Damon’s will be shutting in a few weeks. We all just found out we’re losing our jobs before Christmas.

We’ll stay open for the next few weeks so everyone can come have their last Damon’s but bear in mind we all know we won’t have a job soon. This place means so much to me, the people I have met, loved, worked with for almost nine years of my life. I think the world of you all!

“Damons is absolutely one big family. You’re what made this job special. I met my husband here and can’t begin to imagine my life without it. Thank you all you lovely people I’ve ever worked with, the loyal customers we see week in week out.

“We’re going to miss so much about this place. Heart broke. Thanks for the memories Damon’s, we’ll never forget you.”

The hugely popular restaurant has been a fixture for special occasions in Sheffield for many years, and offers a free meal to people who visit on their birthday.

The building has already been bought by pub-giant JD Wetherspoons but the new bar does not as yet have an opening date.

And planning permission last month granted for a drive-thru Taco Bell Mexican takeaway to be built on the same site, against the objections of dozens of locals.

A spokesperson for Wetherspoons confirmed they had exchanged on the property and will complete the sale on January 6.

They will then need to obtain a premises licence before any one site or opening dates are announced.

Current Damon’s staff will be welcome to apply for roles at the new business, but will not receive preferential treatment, they added.

Separate story – Sheffield councillor ‘furious’ over dishonesty

A Sheffield councillor said he was ‘absolutely furious’ that a popular Sheffield restaurant is closing and becoming a Wetherspoons pub.

Damon’s American diner on Sevenairs Road in Beighton will close next month after almost three decades in business. Up to 90 jobs are at risk.

Damon’s was recently granted planning permission to switch from being a restaurant to a pub but councillors have now asked officers to investigate as they say selling the venue was never mentioned.

Coun Chris Rosling-Josephs, who is a local councillor and also sits on the planning board, said: “I am absolutely furious and it’s contemptible the way the management are treating staff, customers and residents after what has been quite a loyal base for many years.

“They put in a planning application to change their model from a restaurant to a pub and then we hear it on social media that it’s shutting down and a Wetherspoons is opening.

“I am very disappointed and furious at the way it’s been done. They should have been honest and said we can’t make it pay and we have to sell it.

“There was nothing said at planning about selling the business, the report said they wanted to increase the viability of Damon’s and make it more profitable and sustainable. There was nothing about making it saleable.”

Damon’s was recently back before the planning board where councillors granted permission for a Taco Bell drive thru to open in the car park.

Coun Rosling-Josephs, who had voted against the Taco Bell plans, added: “We now have this Taco Bell there as well so it’s going to be horrendous.

“I have spoken to the chairman of the planning board, Coun Peter Rippon, and he is taking it up with officers but I suspect they didn’t know anything about this sale either.”

The Star have requested an interview with company management about the closure but no one has been made available.

Facebook comments

Jayne N Walt said: “Wow, that is so disappointing. We love Damon’s and have been going since it first opened and my oldest son was only nine. Now he is in his 30s. We love the food and will sorely miss it.”

Lauren Jade said: “I'm so sorry for all the staff here. We come for breakfast because we love it and the waitresses are always so happy and friendly. I hope they find better jobs for themselves elsewhere and don’t struggle to find new jobs.

Rachael Louise said: “What a shame spent many birthdays and New Year’s Eve here will be sad to see it close.”

And Jodie Ann Tildesley said: “I used to work there until I moved away from Sheffield 20 years ago. Every time I visit Sheffield we come to eat, I am gutted. They do the best lamb chops and garlic mash.”