A VEGAN restaurant in Stourbridge which was named one of the country's top-rated restaurants for plant-based food has closed.

VGN Boulevard, on Coventry Street, announced on social media they are shutting due to a loan extended to get through the covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis made it impossible for the eatery to make a profit.

Ben and Nicola Powell, who ran the diner, revealed the sad news on social media and thanked "everyone who has been part of our story."

VGN Boulevard served up meat-free burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries, vegan chicken, dairy-free milkshakes and even 3D-printed vegan steaks.

A statement on their social media pages said: "After four and a half awesome years of running our beloved restaurant VGN Boulevard, we have decided to close our doors and embark on a new adventure.

"This is not a decision we have made lightly, but it is one that we made for our own wellbeing and happiness.

"As you may know the Covid pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard. We had to extend our existing loan to secure payments and pay furlough top-ups during the lockdowns and restrictions.

"This has made it impossible for us to make any kind of profit.

"Based on our current expenditure and overheads, we have been struggling to keep up with the repayments due to the cost of living crisis, which has taken it's toll on our health and time with our family.

"We have also faced personal challenges such as illness, loss and health concerns, that have made us realise what is truly important in life. We have decided to prioritise our wellbeing and happiness over our business.

"We have learned to let go of what we cannot control and focus on what we can. We've loved every minute of running VGN Boulevard and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into it.

"We are proud of what we have achieved and the impact that we had made in the vegan community. One of our greatest achievements was being voted one of the top 10 vegan restaurants in the country, based on our Google reviews.

"We would like to thank everyone who has been part of our story, even the [expletive], who have helped us grow and become more resilient. Much love to every single member of our team over the past four and a half years.

"Every volunteer, every tip leaver, every service charge paid without question, our friends within the industry who have guided us and helped us enormously, all of the 5 star reviews (you can still leave one if you want to, it will give those [expletive] over at Tripadvisor something to think about).

"We will miss our regulars who have become like family to us and all of the lovely doggos.

"We hope you understand and respect our decision and will continue to support us in our new venture. Stay in touch and follow us on our social media for updates. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Ben and Nicola."