Sadness at restaurant closure

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Armadillo's Ashburton is closed.
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Increased competition from a growing number of restaurants is one of the factors behind the closure of Armadillo’s Ashburton Bar and Restaurant on Burnett St.

Just three years after opening in 2021, the restaurant announced it was closing due to ‘‘a rise in food operations in the area’’ and ‘‘increasing operating costs’’.

‘‘It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closure,’’ the restaurant posted on its Facebook page last week.

‘‘We extend our sincerest gratitude to all our loyal customers who have supported us throughout the years. Your patronage and loyalty have meant the world to us, and we truly appreciate it. While this chapter may be closing, the memories and friendships forged within these walls will endure forever. Thank you for being a part of the Armadillo’s Ashburton family.’’

There was no date given for the closure, however, this week it was closed and signage was being removed.

Diners expressed their sadness at the decision. One said it was a ‘‘huge loss’’ to Ashburton, as it was one of the most affordable restaurants in town and held events for kids during school holidays. Another said there was always a lively crowd when they performed gigs there, while another said the restaurant had ‘‘one of the best’’ chicken salads.

Armadillo’s was opened by Tony Crosbie, who owned multiple Armadillo’s in the South Island, in the building formerly occupied by the Braided Rivers restaurant on the corner of Burnett and Cass St.

A number of restaurants opened in Ashburton last year, including Joe’s Garage and Sal’s Pizza near Kmart, and Smoke Ashburton and The Rabbit in the Ashburton Triangle.