Margate’s gluten free restaurant, the Ministry of Pies, will close at the end of this month (January 31) due to a lack of trade.
Boss Gary-Paul Derriman says the New Street venue, which also has a wide vegan menu, is no longer viable due to a lack of people in the town.
Gary-Paul, who previously had a restaurant in The Knott pub in Westgate, opened Ministry of Pies three years ago but says the business in its current form will now have to end.
The establishment is the only fully gluten-free restaurant in Thanet and does not use rice flour. Since 2017 all the pastry has been vegan as well as gluten free. Gary-Paul makes bespoke pies, roasts and desserts, as well as the bases used by GB Pizza
The businessman/chef, who is a well-known figure with his striking outfits and Mohawk haircut, says his next move may be to take his business into one of the isle’s pubs.
The 61-year-old said: “It is purely down to a lack of trade. There is no footfall in the town, it is just not viable. Takings are down 40-50% on the last three months of last year. People just aren’t shopping in the high streets. They are online or pop to Westwood Cross and have something to eat while they are there.
“Mine is a niche market,it is the only gluten-free restaurant in Kent as far as I know..”
The stepdad-of-two, who lives in Cliftonville, says he is now in talks with people about the possibility of moving base into a town pub.
Gary-Paul will also be shedding his famous Mohawk this month in the name of charity.
He will be having his hair and eyebrows shaved off on January 24 at Fez in the High Street to raise cash for the RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Nurses.
His pal Michael Saxby will also be undergoing a charity shave.
The honours will be done at 7pm by Westgate’s Snip’s Barbers. To donate pop into Fez, Ministry of Pies or pay directly to Halifax, Hair Cut 2019, 11-71-80 05377460.
If your pub would like to talk to Gary-Paul about hosting Ministry of Pies message him on the facebook page here