Juke & Loe at The Milestone: Michelin-recommended Sheffield restaurant announces 'painful' decision to close
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One of Sheffield's best-rated restaurants has announced its impending closure, just days after retaining its place in the prestigious Michelin Guide.
Brothers Joseph and Luke Grayson initially opened on Ecclesall Road in 2017 before moving to their current home at the former Milestone pub on Green Lane in 2022.
Their modern British cuisine, created using seasonal ingredients, has won them many fans, with the Guardian food critic Jay Rayner among those who have raved about the food.
Michelin Guide praised 'quality cooking'
The restaurant was also included in the Michelin Guide 2024, unveiled last week, with inspectors praising the 'quality cooking' and describing how 'the flavours really pack a punch and everything is pleasingly fuss-free'. But posting on social media yesterday, Sunday, February 11, Joe and Luke announced the restaurant would be closing for good following its final service on Saturday, March 30.
They called it an 'extremely difficult and painful decision' but said a combination of ever-increasing costs, business rates and the 'dreaded VAT' meant the restaurant as it stands was 'no longer viable' - though they added that they hoped to be back in some form.
"After much deliberation and toil we have made the extremely difficult and painful decision to close Juke & Loe at the Milestone," they wrote.
"This has been possibly the most difficult decision we have ever had to make since the conception of J&L in 2017.
'The last seven years have been a blast'
"When the idea of J&L was conceived we were both sick of working for the man.
"I think We achieved that and a little more. The last seven years have been a blast and we don’t regret one minute of it. But sadly the day has come to call it.
"We have made the decision due to the business in its current model being no longer viable. Hospitality in Britain has been broken and we can’t see it getting repaired any time soon.
'Decimation of our industry'
"Our business in particular has reached a ceiling and can no longer keep up with the ever increasing costs, food, fuel, utilities, staff wages ( which they deserve and more) business rates and the dreaded VAT. The latter being set at a preposterous percentage in an industry that can claim almost zero back.
"Racking our brains we still don’t know how this decimation of our industry began and is allowed to continue. An industry that is the third largest employer in the UK and brings untold joy to so many, both staff and customers alike."
Joe and Luke thanked their staff and customers and urged people to support their independent restaurants, who they said 'need it now more than ever', and to be be kind to the staff. They are not the first high profile casualty within Sheffield's food industry, with the hugely popular V OR V restaurant, also in Kelham Island, closing shortly before Christmas.
'You guys are a real talent'
News of Juke & Loe's closure has been met with great sadness on social media.
One person wrote: "So sorry to hear this. It’s appalling what is happening to our independent restaurants and the excessive costs you have to continue fronting.
"You guys are a real talent. We loved your food and really appreciate how you looked after your staff. Onwards and upwards. I’m sure a great future lies ahead of you both." Another commented: "A sad day - a dreadful sign of the times - we have loved every mouthful of food prepared and served by you and your wonderful staff. Onwards and upwards." And a third person commented: "It is such a shame that our hospitality industry is in crisis and so many fantastic restaurants are closing their doors. Wishing you every success in whatever you decide to do. Maybe one day you will be back bigger and better. We'll be waiting."