It is with much regret and a heavy heart that we let you know that Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill has closed.

We'd like to offer our sincerest thanks to those of who supported us in our ambitious venture and we have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the fantastic guests who spent time with us since we opened in February.

Obviously the whole team are hugely disappointed as we really had tried our best to make the Grill into a warm, welcoming place and it's especially hard when we know that it was only in recent weeks that we achieved Michelin Recommended status.

We'll be endeavouring to contact our customers who had reservations, unclaimed Kickstarter Rewards or vouchers with us to discuss alternative arrangements.

Knowing how the rumour mills work, we wanted to reassure you that The Olive Room is still very much open for business and will continue to be the flagship Michelin starred restaurant in Ilfracombe.

Thank you again,

Thomas and the Team

Please see below for the full press release.


Ilfracombe is set to lose another restaurant, as the critically acclaimed Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill has closed it doors, just nine months after opening.

The news may come as a surprise, as following the opening of his new venue in February this year, Thomas Carr’s newest venture has gained many accolades including an unexpected Michelin Recommendation earlier this month.

Thomas says “This is really bittersweet for us. We’re immensely proud of the recognition that the Seafood & Grill has gained in such a short time and of the fantastic team that worked so hard together, but the reality is that in a tough economical climate, it is extremely hard to maintain such a high standard of food and service in a restaurant the size of the Seafood & Grill whilst still being able to run a profitable business.”

He continues “ We really did try our hardest to make it a success, but it just hasn’t worked out. I do feel it’s a shame for Ilfracombe to lose another of its quality dining spaces, especially with The Habit, The Quay and The Gendarmerie closing over the last 18 months, but if we kept trying to run the business it would have ultimately affected our guests experience as well as the enthusiasm and effort of the team and that’s not what we would want to see”.

Despite the closure of the Seafood & Grill, Thomas is keen to assure people that his Michelin starred restaurant, Thomas Carr at The Olive Room, is still very much open for business.

“We know how quickly news of this nature spreads and people will naturally assume that the Grill closing will also mean The Olive Room is meeting the same fate, but it isn’t. We’re still going strong and are looking at extending our opening to try and make sure that we can offer a quality dining experience to as many guests as we can”.

The Michelin Starred Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room has been open since August 2014 offering chef’s taster menus which reflect Thomas’s passion for local, quality seafood. The restaurant received it’s Michelin Star in 2016 and has maintained it ever since.

Thomas is very much looking forward to working more closely with his long-time friend and Head Chef of the Seafood & Grill, Chris Essex who will be joining him in The Olive Room kitchen.

“Chris and I go way back, in fact in my early kitchen career Chris was my boss, so i’m delighted that he can come and join me at The Olive Room. He’s an incredibly talented chef who is as equally passionate as I am about food so we’re excited to see how we can continue to improve the experience at The Olive Room together”.

With a large amount of national coverage and reviews by big names in the food world, such as Jay Rayner, plus a strong community backing following the successful Kickstarter crowdfunding which helped get the restaurant up and running, there is little surprise that the Seafood & Grill has gained a loyal following.

Thomas is keen to reassure their guests that whilst this news may be surprising, the team are trying to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“The team are working hard to contact anyone who either had reservations at The Grill, were Kickstarter backers or had purchased vouchers in order to minimise the amount of inconvenience caused. We’re confident that for a large majority of bookings we can honour reservations by offering them tables and exclusive menus at The Olive Room.”

“All I can say at the end of the day, we tried. A lot of chefs struggle with their second restaurant and I can see why, but we had to give it a go and it’s certainly an experience we’ve learnt from. We’re now even more committed to keep building The Olive Room and do our part to ensure that Ilfracombe remains the foodie capital of Devon”

Further information can be found at and any enquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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