The farm-to-table Marram Grass had become a culinary pilgrimage site since it opened on a trailer park 10 years ago, turning a greasy spoon into one of Wales’ most famous restaurants, which featured long on our list of Wales’ 50 best restaurants, which you can see in full here.
But owners Liam and Barrie Ellis have said they have to make “tough decisions” in the wake of the Covid crisis. For now, the brothers will focus on their Liverpool restaurant Lerpwl, which is accepting reservations from May 19, North Wales Live reports.
Marram Grass staff have been notified and customers with vouchers are to be refunded. The social media reaction has been a “devastation” from former customers who rated the restaurant as “the best in Anglesey and possibly anywhere.”
The brothers do not rule out the restaurant’s return if business conditions improve. Liam said: “Over the past 12 months it has become clear that we cannot continue with the current model. Just four months into this year’s peak season, before facing another tough winter, it left us in an impossible position.
“We had a really tough decision to make. For us, it was as much about the people as it was about the company, which has always been built on trust. They are all great guys and we have a great relationship, so pushing them for four more months, only to deal with unemployment during the winter, when there are no jobs around, wouldn’t have been fair.
During the first lockdown, Chef Ellis started a home delivery service and then opened an outdoor restaurant, Moch a Môr, until Marram Grass restarted for a short while in November. At the same time, the brothers were working on the September opening of their long-awaited Lerpwl restaurant.
However, they’ve always described Marram Grass as “our baby” – that’s where they started their career in an abandoned chicken coop on a former campsite run by their parents. Liam said the 14-acre site will continue to be used as a place of “education and collaboration.”
In addition to a caravan site, it hosts a pig farm and plots, as well as a cooking school launched thanks to a £ 30,000 crowdfunding campaign. Ephemeral activities are also planned this summer.
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“Marram Grass has always been as much about the people as it is about the quality of food and service,” said Liam.
“We will continue to focus on collaboration and career development there.”