A BUSINESSMAN is offering his heartfelt apologies to people who have lost money after booking with his now-closed restaurant.

Bistro 63 at Manvers closed down on November 5 and customers who have paid deposits have been left out of pocket as a result.

One woman is believed to have paid £1,500 for catering for a 50th birthday party and the restaurant had also taken deposits of £10 per person for a near sold-out Christmas Day of two sittings.

Customers posted on the restaurant's Facebook site to try and find out what was going on.

Sophie Waring posted: "Hi there, could you tell me when you will be re-opening please? We have a booking with you. What's happened?"

Danielle Jeffcock added: "Oh dear hopefully they'll get someone who knows what they're doing! Feel sorry for staff who lost their jobs."

Owner Mark Perry, 42, had been renting the building since in May and says the greater cost will now fall on him as he faces losing his home.

He refused to speak about claims that bookings and deposits had been taken in the days before the business closed or about the money people have lost.

"We could not afford to sustain the business, unfortunately," he said.

"Basically the business is bust. We were quite popular but the business just drained money.

"I'd like to offer my heartfelt apologies to people who have lost money.

"I obviously thought it would be a success because I pumped every penny I had into it and I could lose my house now."

Situated on Onyx Business Park, management company Onward Holdings Ltd said in a statement: "We have taken possession of the property and we know that the bookings book is in the hands of the Thai Garden Cafe on the same site.

"We will be looking at that and will try to offer a solution whether that be through the Thai Garden Cafe or another means.

"We are only connected to the business through being a landlord but as a family business we feel it's right to contact the people who have been affected.

"Onyx has been phenomenally successful since it has been built and it's a shame that this business was not able to make a go of it."