A COUPLE running Darlington's popular Voodoo Cafe have made the "hard decision" to close for the last time because of a cancer diagnosis.

The news, announced on the Facebook page of the award-winning Mexican themed restaurant in Skinnergate, was greeted with hundreds of messages from well-wishers.

Established in 2010 by Les and Kendra Fry, Voodoo Café was the 2012 winner of “Best Latin Restaurant outside London” category in the prestigious LUKAS awards, was Darlington's Best Bar and listed in the World's Best Bars.

In a Facebook post on behalf of the couple, Kendra said: "It is with great sadness that we have closed the door to Voodoo for the last time.

"It has been a very difficult few years in Skinnergate both prior to and including the Covid 19 lockdowns but now a diagnosis of cancer has become the last insurmountable step, so we have made the hard decision to close Voodoo.

"There have been many obstacles and traumas in closing, but we couldn’t have done this without the help of so many.

"Staff, friends, friends of friends and customers have rallied, somehow just being there to help at the right time."

She added: "I am unable to express enough my gratitude and thanks to everyone. You all know who you are.

"For Les and I we have said goodbye to twelve years of our life and love of everything we have poured into Voodoo. We have learnt so much from the Rocky early years, the excitement of new records and achievements and just the best times late at night with great people.

"Having won awards for Best Latin Restaurant Outside London, Cocktail Competitions, Darlington’s Best Bar and listed in the World’s Best Bars it’s good to end on a high note. It’s been a wild ride but time to get off the rollercoaster.

"It’s not goodbye just time to wonder what the next new adventure will be?"

The couple urged people to support them at their sister bar, Angels Cut Bar & Bottle Shop on Duke Street.