'long journey' | 

Controversial Wexford restaurant which called Covid cert ‘the Nazi pass’ announces closure

During the pandemic, the Perri family famously started a GoFundMe campaign to pay their legal costs as they aimed to fight the HSE requirement for vaccine passes

Pádraig ByrneWexford People

THE owners of a Wexford restaurant which courted controversy during the Covid pandemic have announced that they are closing after six years in business.

Luigi and Lucia Perri and their family announced that The Forge Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Castlebridge would close on New Year’s Eve, citing spiralling costs as the cause.

During the pandemic, the Perri family famously started a GoFundMe campaign to pay their legal costs as they aimed to fight the HSE requirement for vaccine passes, or as they deemed it “the Nazi pass” in court.

The campaign did receive some support from around the country, with thousands of euro in donations flooding in from those unhappy with Covid restrictions and against the vaccine. A month after the campaign was publicised, the restaurant was forced to close after a confirmed Covid case hospitalised a member of the family.

Wexford restaurateur who vowed to fight vaccine passes in court closes temporarily due to Covid case

Now, however, having come come through the controversy and the pandemic, six years after opening its doors, the restaurant is set to close for good. In a statement published on social media, the family said:

“Our journey has now reached the end of the line, our train stops here. A long journey, which has given us the opportunity to meet many people. Many times we have rejoiced when our customers have told us that our food is wonderful, but all this is nothing compared to what you have given to us. We had the opportunity and the honour to meet wonderful people, where a letter would not be enough to thank them.

The Forge restaurant, Castlebridge.

"We knew that sooner or later, this moment would arrive, but unfortunately it arrived much earlier than it should have. With this crisis, we are no longer able to bear the costs. We have tried not to give up looking for another way, but the devil was just around the corner and everything went wrong.

"We don't want to complain anymore, we just want to thank all the customers (who are friends to us now) for the support given to us on our journey.

We really wanted to thank our restaurant owners, who supported us in difficult times. A big thank you goes out to all the people who, with their take away food, have given us life in a quiet periods and a heartfelt thanks goes to our staff who are always attentive and above all very professional.

Concluding, Mr Perri said: “I would like to thank Ireland for welcoming us. We will close this door, but we will not throw away the key. Never say never, it can't rain forever.

"Maybe one day, if will stop raining, a ray of light will give us the chance to resume our journey. Thank you very much from your authentic Italian restaurant.”

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