Charity-run Aberdeen restaurant for homeless and unemployed set to close

Charity-run Aberdeen restaurant for homeless and unemployed set to close
The Scotsman, by Frank Urquhart

A FLAGSHIP Aberdeen restaurant, run by a charity for the homeless and unemployed, is to close its doors, it was revealed on Tuesday.

The Foyer Restaurant and Gallery opened in the city’s Crown Street in 1999 to help raise funds for the Foyer project, established in 1995 as a charity and social enterprise devoted to tackling youth homelessness and unemployment across the North east.

The Foyer provides supported tenancies for young people, aged between 16 and 25, across seven sites in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banchory, Stonehaven and Inverurie.

The charity announced that the restaurant and gallery is to cease trading following a review of “how the organisation can best sustain and develop the impact it has on youth homelessness and unemployment.”

A charity spokesman said: “It is against this background, and with great regret, that the board members and management of the Foyer have made a difficult business decision to close the Foyer Restaurant and Gallery.

“For many people the Foyer Restaurant and Gallery has been the public face of the Foyer as a social enterprise since opening in 1999.”

Ken Milroy, the Foyer’s chief executive, said: “The trading climate has become increasingly difficult for many businesses and our restaurant is no exception. I’d like to thank our customers, suppliers, investors and partners for their tremendous support over the years and our staff who worked so hard to make us one of Aberdeen’s best restaurants.

“While we are sad that the restaurant is closing, the Foyer has always been forward looking and we plan to utilise the building to expand the Foyer’s core activities in education, training and health improvement services.”

He added: “These difficult economic times hit young people the hardest and as a charity and social enterprise we will respond to their needs.

We will place even more emphasis and energy on our supported accommodation, our learning, training and employability services and on our businesses which can offer young people opportunities to develop their talents and enable them to take the next steps towards independent living, learning and work. “