STAR ANISE owner Virginie Sarrazin is expecting a ‘very emotional’ week after announcing that the restaurant will close its doors on New Year’s Eve.
The Bridge Street restaurant has been a fixture on the Cork food scene for 16 years, with their Early Bird menu a favourite with theatregoers attending the nearby Everyman.
On St Stephen’s Day, Ms Sarrazin announced ‘with a heavy heart’ that this will be their final few days of trading, finishing on Sunday, December 31.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the people of Cork and beyond for nearly 17 years,” she wrote.
Ms Sarrazin, who is from Lyon, established Star Anise in 2002, and has become synonymous with the restaurant in the years since, being front of house for the evening service five nights a week.
Now a mother of young children, she told the Evening Echo the time was right for her to make a change.
“There are a number of different reasons I decided to do it, it is a personal choice,” she said.
“It is a natural progression after 17 years. It has been amazing but I have kids and it is time for a change of life. It is a very demanding job, it is a small business, so a lot of it falls on me. It is different if it is a very big operation and you have lots of staff but the restaurant was very personal and has taken a lot of my life.”
The Frenchwoman said it would be a sad last few days saying farewell to the restaurant regulars.
“We have so many loyal customer and people who have supported us through the bad and good times. It is very difficult for me as well, because it was a very difficult choice. It was my first baby and it is very difficult to make the move.
“New Year’s Eve will be our last night, emotionally. I don’t know how I will get through this week. I would like to have waited to announce we were closed on New Year’s Day but I felt people would want to come and say goodbye.”