Ignoring Gordon Ramsay's advice proves costly for exclusive eatery Abstract

IT TAKES a brave man to go against the advice of ferocious celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

After turning around his French restaurant Abstract in Inverness on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, businessman Barry Larsen pressed ahead with plans to expand his business to Edinburgh – despite Ramsay telling him it would never work.

But the advice has today proved to be accurate as it has been confirmed that Abstract , on Castle Terrace, has closed its doors for the last time –just short of three years since it opened.

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The recession has been blamed for the demise of the restaurant, although bosses remain defiant that moving to the Capital in 2007 was the right step to take.

Abstract has been closed since the end of trading on Hogmanay, with menus on display outside and not even a note left to tell customers of its demise.

A source at Abstract, who did not wish to be named, said: "The restaurant closed on 31 December and it will not reopen for 2010.

"We were just unfortunately not busy enough to keep the restaurant running so we decided to close it because it is not viable.

"We do still have the business in Inverness so we will focus on that. It was the general economic climate that was not good for us. But I have no regrets. We have been well liked, we had a lot of good regular customers and it was great to be in Edinburgh. We would have preferred to have kept the restaurant open for 2010 but unfortunately we can't do that."

When asked whether the company regretted ignoring Ramsay's advice, he said: "At the time it was the right decision. What happened after had nothing to do with opening three years ago. It was completely different. If I put myself back three years I would make the same decision again."

Abstract, originally set up in Inverness by Mr Larsen and award-winning French chef Loic Lefebvre, featured on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

Mr Lefebvre, who was labelled "stubborn, pretentious and arrogant" on air, left the company soon after opening the Edinburgh restaurant. Despite the setback, Abstract was among 20 restaurants in the Capital to make it into the 2009 Good Food Guide.

Barry McNeil, associate director at property firm Christie & Co, said: "Abstract's concept was fine dining and it is in an area where there are a lot of solicitors and professional firms.

"They were maybe pitching towards a market where there is a lunchtime custom that is not as prevalent as it was. But Edinburgh on the whole as a restaurant scene is still fairly buoyant."

Malcolm Duck, chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association, said: "It is a shame that the city is losing a good restaurant. It is not a bed of roses out there and January is always a difficult time. They did excellent food but a lot of the corporate market is just not dining out."