Restaurant closes after only a year

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Durbans hai.bo restaurant, cafe and bar closed this month, little more than a year after it opened in a double-storey house. Stock picture: supplied

KwaZulu-Natal - Durban’s hai.bo restaurant, cafe and bar closed this month, little more than a year after it opened in a double-storey house in Lilian Ngoyi (Windermere) Road.

Operating partner Theuns Smuts, the chief operating officer for the hai.bo group, said it closed for “financial reasons”.

The national monument building where it was situated was previously home to Bean Bag Bohemia (BBB) – a well-loved hangout for Durban’s alternative crowd for more than a decade.

Smuts took over the premises and opened hai.bo in November last year. Its quirky decor and contemporary cuisine made it popular with locals and visitors.

But Smuts said that although the restaurant was full on Friday and Saturday nights, the rest of the week was “very quiet”.

“We were running a full kitchen from 11am until 2am every day and the costs involved just became too high,” he said. “We kept hoping the situation would change, but it just did not.”

At this stage it is unknown what will become of the building that hai.bo was occupying, advertised by the restaurant as an ideal venue. - The Mercury


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