World Incidents

Smoke Barbecue Glasgow staff’s fears as restaurant suddenly shuts down

Smoke Barbecue, on West Regent Street, suddenly shut on Monday, leaving workers unsure of whether they will be paid as the festive season approaches.

The restaurant, set up home in a large unit in April 2016, apparently gave no warning to staff or customers of its impending closure, with around 25 staff left in the lurch.

The company remained tight-lipped and the branch’s Facebook and Twitter pages were quickly closed down.

One staff member, who asked not to be named, claimed co-founder and director Duka Nagy came to the restaurant on Sunday to resolve a long-running issue with vents.

The former worker told the Evening Times: “On Sunday night, a colleague told me we closed at 8.30pm, instead of the usual 10pm, which was strange.

“Apparently, it was to get the large vents fixed, which would take a couple of days.

“They’d been broken for a while and had been making the restaurant quite smokey.”

They added: “The manager then gathered everyone for a meeting at The Counting House, at George Square, to let us know what happened.

“Most of the staff are quite upset. A lot of them are full-time, so that’s their main job. They’ve got rent and bills to pay.

“Duka is apparently drafting a letter to let us know what’s going on, but we don’t know when that’ll be going out.

“The main Smoke is in Sheffield, then Glasgow came off the back of that and then Leeds, but Leeds closed down earlier this year as well.”

One shocked Smoke fan told us: “I had been standing waiting for a bus outside the restaurant on Sunday. The place was pretty busy. I remember watching customers drinking beer and it put me in the mood.

“Then, on Monday, the place was shut.”

They added: “There was no indication it would close.”

Unite Hospitality, which campaigns to improve conditions for workers in the hospitality industry, has since confirmed it has stepped in to help those affected.

Bryan Simpson, Unite organiser, described how “companies don’t just go under without any warning.”

He added: “We are supporting workers affected by the closure of Smoke in Glasgow and would ask those affected who are not already in touch to contact Unite Hospitality directly at [email protected]

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