DINERS have been left shocked by a decision to close a popular Gourock restaurant.

Bosses of Bath Street Arches in the town centre have announced that they will close the highly-rated fine dining premises on February 24 after five years.

Restaurant chiefs say the business is still busy and turning a profit but that they have decided to go out ‘on a high’.

In a statement, head chef Ambrish Brahmwar said: “After an amazing five years I will be closing Bath Street Arches at the end of February.

“Despite being a busy and commercially-viable restaurant with a fantastic reputation, I believe it has reached its peak.

“Due to our restricted size — six tables — the enormous commitment of time that it requires and without any ability to grow further in its current form I have chosen to go out on a high.

“With the support of my team I have always strived to offer a special dining experience and not just to produce good food. 

“This has been supported by the people of Inverclyde.

“To all of you, I cannot say thank-you enough.”

The Arches, said to be Scotland’s smallest restaurant, has received glowing reviews from some of the country’s most respected food critics since it opened in 2013.

It was ranked the eighth best in Scotland by a national newspaper and currently holds top spot in Inverclyde on leading review website TripAdvisor.

Mr Brahmwar said: “Three months after opening we reached number one on TripAdvisor in Inverclyde and still continue to hold this position today with a five-star rating that is rare in our industry and which is something that I am grateful to our customers for.

“As a newcomer to the restaurant trade with no previous experience, I am proud and very happy with what I have achieved in the past five years.

“Until we close the doors on February 24 we will be continuing to serve our customers.

“Many thanks again for your part in making Bath Street Arches my proudest ever achievement.”