Umberto's chip shop in Preston forced to close due to 'rising costs'
A popular Preston chip shop has closed its doors due to ‘rising costs’.
Umberto’s in Watery Lane shut its doors at the weekend and will remain closed until further notice, said management.
The Ashton chippy said it was forced to close due to an increase in energy prices, as well as the rising costs of ingredients and packaging.
Owner Martin Rimmer – who took over the chip shop from Umberto Frediani after the 79-year-old’s retirement in 2020 – said he hopes to reopen in the future, but a date has not been set at this stage.
He said if the chip shop had remained open, rising costs would have meant a 30 per cent increase on prices across its menu.
Posting on Facebook, he said: “Due to the rapidly rising costs of energy, packaging and ingredients I have had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close the shop.
“It's not a decision that has been taken lightly, every option was considered but the reality is I would have to apply a price increase of 30% to the entire menu.
“At a time when families are being squeezed financially I thought this would do more harm than good in the long run.”
The chippy has been serving up the nation’s favourite dish since it was first opened by Italian-born cook Umberto Frediani in 1973, earning a reputation as one of Preston's best-loved fish and chip shops.
In November 2020, after nearly five decades behind the fryer, Umberto hung up his apron and retired, handing the keys over to local businessman Martin Rimmer.
“I have no doubt the shop will be open again soon,” said Martin, as he added his thanks to his seven members of staff and regular customers.
"I want to thank all the staff, Mick, Caris, Chantelle, Tracy, Annette, Rocco and Jack for all their hard work and all the loyal customers that used the shop week in and week out”, he said.
Last year, Umberto’s was ranked among the top 10 fish and chip shops in Preston, according to Google reviews.