THE future of a Leeds restaurant is at stake after it was forced to close.
River Plate, which was due to celebrate its sixth birthday on Saturday, was shut last week after issues with rent payment.
Around 15 jobs have been lost at the Argentinian steakhouse inside the Calls Landing building.
Co-owners Samantha Davies and Jennifer Fearnley said they were “utterly devastated” when they found locks had been changed.
Ms Davies, 28, said: “It was a really hard, emotional day.
“We employed a small, close-knit team of people who loved their jobs and were all part of the dream.
“There were 19-year-old kids who were trying to get themselves through university who have lost their jobs because of this.”
The business partners are now hoping to resurrect the business in different premises.
They said they were late in paying October’s rent but understood a verbal agreement had been agreed for a period of grace.
A spokesman for Beeston-based Dave’s Leisure, which owns the building, said: “The place has been closed because they have consistently not paid their rent.”
A tapas bar called Ambiente will be opening at the site next week.