The owner of a much-loved Maryhill restaurant that recently closed its doors for the last time has spoken about its battle for survival during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Bosses at the Black Sheep Bistro announced with a "heavy heart" on Tuesday that their premises would be closing indefinitely, citing Covid-19 as the reason. 

Now, an online fundraiser has been launched by a family friend in a bid to financially help the employees at the family-run restaurant that has closed its doors "with nothing". 

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Black Sheep Bistro: Devastation as popular Glasgow restaurant announces permanent closure

Owner Angela Loftus has told how she and her husband were left with no other option than to use their life savings to help keep their business stay on its feet as they vigorously fought to stay open. 

Angela said: “Since coronavirus started in March, we have lost so much money. We’ve used my partner’s savings and done without wages. 

“Week upon week we were hoping it would pick up. We were paying three members of staff to run the takeaway as we reinvented around the virus. We’d only take around £300 on a busy Saturday. With outgoing bills, it just wasn’t feasible. We couldn’t survive from it.

“We’re constantly waiting to go into another lockdown and with every restriction imposed upon us caused colossal damage with loss of stock."

Glasgow Times: Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow's Black Sheep Bistro owner on her 'fight for survival'

As Angela waited weeks for furlough payments and grants to come through, she told how the restrictions imposed on the hospitality industry were the "final nail in the coffin" for her small business.

She said: “The furlough payment was an absolute shambles – we waited so long for furlough to come through that we were borrowing to pay our staff their wages.

“We were waiting so long for each grant to come through. Our latest grant that we applied for still hasn’t come through either.

“With the restrictions placed upon us, it just killed us. I used to have a busy Saturday night with customers in my restaurant, seating about 60 covers in our small premises. When we were allowed to reopen, our covers lowered to only 22 on a Saturday evening because of the restrictions placed upon restaurants.

“We’re only a small restaurant, how were we meant to survive that?

“Our customers were great and did try to support us where they could with getting takeaways but I’ve got to remember that a lot of my customers were only on 80 per cent of their own salaries. Their fun money has gone and they can’t afford to get a takeaway every weekend.

“We tried to introduce discounts to get more people through the door but even that didn’t really work. People still need their money to pay their bills right now. I’m not in a position to get a takeaway every weekend either."

Glasgow Times: Glasgow Times:

In their efforts to reinvent around coronavirus, Angela and her husband attempted to open their eatery for daytime trade in accordance with the Scottish Government's 6pm curfew, but they soon realised their location was pulling them back from turnover.

"We realised quite quickly that due to our location, it just isn’t somewhere where people come or pass through during the day. We’re known as what is known as a destination restaurant – people come here for a night out.

“We’ve been fighting for survival since we reopened our doors. Every week we were hopeful that things would improve and things would be better than the last week.

“For a tiny business in Maryhill, we have gone from turning over £400,000 last year to now only taking 70 per cent of a normal income. I just don’t understand how anybody else is surviving.

“We can’t live with the strain anymore. For the first time in 25 years, I’m going to look for a job. I don’t even know how to, because I have been self-employed for so long."

To view the Black Sheep Bistro's online fundraiser, click here.