A MUCH-LOVED Barrhead restaurant has closed its doors after 26 years of service in the town. 

Tributes have been paid to Snooks, which has been a permanent fixture in the town since 1992. 

The restaurant’s owners cited “difficult trading conditions and increasing costs” as a result of “unforeseen and sharp increases in rent”. 

Members of the Barrhead community paid their respects to the business, with many very upset by the loss to the town’s ‘eating out’ scene. 

Jimmy MacDonald said: “Whether you were a Snooks (customer) or not, it’s still sad to see another business in Barrhead closing its doors.”

Pauline Thomson added: “A regular customer and a nice place to have a meal. Voucher deals fantastic, liked the community feel, staff always excellent.”

The company was bought over by current owner Steven John Hobbs just under a decade ago, becoming SJ @ Snooks after the original owners sold up. 

However, some residents have raised concerns about unclaimed vouchers, some of which were bought less than a fortnight before the business suddenly closed.

Many people say that they are worried that vouchers bought recently will not be refunded. 

Elizabeth Ballantyne claimed: “They must have known this was coming but still advertised vouchers up until last week. Disgusting really.”

Susie Rodgers added: “Always a shame when a business closes but it’s despicable that they were still advertising and selling voucher deals last week.”

However, owners of the business have moved quickly to allay these fears, posting a statement online explaining the situation surrounding the closure. 

Staff also issued instructions for those with unclaimed vouchers. 
A spokesperson said: “If you paid by credit card please contact your credit card company for a refund in the first instance.

“Paypal have started issuing refunds for transactions and will continue to work on each case. 

“For cash and debit card payments please check back for details of the appointed liquidator. 

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. 

“We had no advance notice of this until late on Monday May 7 and our hand was forced following an unforeseen and sharp increase in rent with demands for immediate payment. 

“Thank you to our loyal customers over the years.”