'Unviable' Spanish restaurant to close
CITY centre Spanish-themed restaurant La Tasca is to shut with the loss of 13 jobs after suffering financial problems.
The Derry's Cross eaterie will close for good next Wednesday.
It is one of a 60-strong national chain It is understood others may also be closing.
Bosses said the Plymouth branch was no longer "economically viable".
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It is understood the restaurant may have suffered from the decline in retail in the West End of the city centre, and from competition as other restaurants opened throughout Plymouth.
A La Tasca Restaurants Ltd spokeswoman said: "We can confirm we are planning to close our restaurant in Plymouth.
"Unfortunately it was not economically viable to continue trading in this location but we'd like to thank our customers for their support and loyalty over the years."
The 200 seat Plymouth restaurant stretched over two floors decorated in a Spanish style and served tapas type food.
It opened in autumn 2004 in a row of bars and restaurants beneath the Travelodge hotel. It employed 13 people including kitchen and waiting staff.
One staff member said all workers had found new employment in other city restaurants or within the La Tasca chain.
The restaurant will serve its last diners at lunch time next Wednesday, but is also staging a farewell party on Saturday evening.
"We will have live music from an acoustic guitarist, and there will be dancers," a spokeswoman said.
"We are open to the public but it would be best if they book a table."
La Tasca's closure comes as Plymouth is about to welcome three new restaurant chains to the Royal William Yard.
Earlier this week, The Herald revealed how worldwide noodle chain Wagamama is to move to the Royal William Yard, creating 25 jobs when it opens next year.
And just last week, French cuisine outlet Le Bistrot Pierre said it would start trading in the yard in February.
In July, a spokesman for the Las Iguanas chain said it would open a Latin American-themed diner in the former Royal Naval victualling yard this Autumn.
Plymouth has seen restaurants opening in other parts of the city too including Rock Salt and Sprouts in the Stonehouse area, while a new bistro is due to open soon in the Barbican's Pinnacle House.
Meanwhile, there could be more retail misery for Plymouth as JD Sports Fashion this week warned it will shut more Blacks Leisure stores after the chain it rescued from administration contributed to a sharp fall in profits.
The Bury-based group, which bought the business for £20million in January, has already closed 93 of the worst performing stores but a further 50 are still under threat as it looks for a long-term estate of 150 sites.
It will also ditch the Millets name as JD plans to use Blacks, which sells own-brands such as Peter Storm and Eurohike, as its single outdoor name.
There are both Blacks and Millets outlets in Plymouth city centre, but the firm was unable to say whether they would close.