The owner of a popular Ipswich bar has said rising utility bills have "run us out of business" as it closes its doors just eight months after opening. 

La Cueva, located on St Nicholas Street, began trading in Mid-April 2022 following an extensive makeover of the building formerly occupied by Zizzi. 

But the owner, Louis Van Den Kolk, has now made the difficult decision to not reopen in the new year.

Ipswich Star: Louis Van Den Kolk (left) said utility bills have put us out of businessLouis Van Den Kolk (left) said utility bills have put us out of business (Image: Newsquest)

The news follows the closure of K Bar and Grill - also located on St Nicholas Street - which announced it would cease operations after 13 years on New Year's Day.

"Our utility costs have gone up five times," said Mr Van Den Kolk.

"We were doing well in the summer, but we had a real drop off in September.

"We managed to build it back up a little, but then November and December hit us really hard.

"And there doesn't appear to be any immediate end in sight for rising costs.

Ipswich Star: La Cueva was a popular restaurant in Ipswich, receiving stellar reviewsLa Cueva was a popular restaurant in Ipswich, receiving stellar reviews (Image: Newsquest)

"Utility bills have put us out of business."

Since opening, La Cueva soon became a popular venue in the town and received stellar feedback from customers.

In July, the Ipswich Star ran a review of the restaurant - labelling it "an elegant space with high-end vibes".

"In the eight months we were open, I had 211 reviews online and just five of them were negative," said Mr Van Den Kolk.

"We were one of the highest-rated places in Ipswich and we had a lot of passionate customers.

"But unfortunately this area doesn't get as high footfall as some other places.

Ipswich Star: La Cueva opened in April 2022La Cueva opened in April 2022 (Image: Louis Van Den Kolk)

"If you combine that with these soaring costs, it's not sustainable.

"We made so many friends here, but we just can't keep losing money like this.

"It's not just us. Everyone in this sector is struggling at the moment.

"The government look like they will be offering some support this year, which means there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the industry.

"But we just can't continue at this rate."