Losing a business can be a devastating thing for any town, village or city. 

It might be your local corner shop, favourite local or store that you've been to for decades - it's a devastating thing to happen. 

On the other side of things, the turmoil it brings to owners and the emotions that they go through can be equally devastating. 

As it's now February, we have put together 5 businesses, both shops and restaurants, in County Durham and Darlington that closed in January 2024. 

Here is the list: 

Ranch Meat House

The Northern Echo: The Ranch Meat House, Seaham.

The Ranch Meat House on Stockton Road, Seaham, announced the news on social media  on January 2 that it would be closing.

Known for its wide menu of American-style burgers, fries as well as traditional Sunday dinner, the venue also held a function room which was used for parties and weddings.

A statement on Facebook at the time read: "The Ranch would like to thank all its customers over the years but unfortunately we’ve made the decision to close the doors for the last time.

"The main building will be turned into something else, however, the function room on the side will remain open for bookings and is being taken over by an experienced operator who is going to put their own touch on things and improve it."

While it was bad news for customers, it soon announced that part of the building was going to be reopened as a cocktail bar. 

Barnard Castle's historic Blagraves

The Northern Echo: Blagraves in Barnard Castle is closing

The owners of Barnard Castle's oldest house, featuring a popular interior shop and restaurant, announced with sadness they are closing in January 2024. 

Blagraves, a treasure trove of goodies, selling everything from cards and gifts to soft furnishings, was recently renovated to showcase the history of the building.

Announcing the news on Facebook, owners Eleanor Dinnes and her mother Louise said: "It with great sadness that I have to tell you with changes to our personal circumstances and Ill health we are announcing the closure of Blagraves.

"We have had a wonderful time with you all, restoring the building to the best of our ability and hopefully we have conserved the building for future generations with the work we have done."

The Raby Hunt

The Northern Echo: Two Michelin star chef James Close says that he's stepping away from the Raby Hunt in Summerhouse

Two Michelin star chef James Close announced that he would be stepping away from the Raby Hunt in Summerhouse to embark on a new challenge at Darlington's Rockliffe Hall. 

Mr Close was the first chef in the North East to be awarded two Michelin stars, making the Raby Hunt one of just 20 two-Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK and the only two-star restaurant in the North East.

It was also placed fourth in The Good Food Guide’s Top 20 Most Exciting UK Restaurants of 2022.

The last service at the Raby Hunt was on Saturday, January 27.

Bar 1 in Consett

The Northern Echo: This is a little different than closing for choice - but Bar 1, Consett, has had its licence to operate revoked after Durham Constabulary raised serious concerns about the management of the venue following the violent incident. 

A hearing at Durham County Hall heard how the force believed the venue was a threat to public safety that put “profit before people’s safety”. 

Durham County Council’s licensing authority received a closure order notice for Bar 1 on January 9 following a hearing at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court. 

Bumble Crumble in Darlington

The Northern Echo: Bumble Crumble, Darlington

The property of Bumble Crumble in Darlington market was repossessed by the landlord.

A notice has been stuck onto the door which makes it clear 'no one can lawfully enter the premises' without the landlord's permission.

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The eatery first opened in June 2023 and rapidly became a hit in the town for being a tearoom with a twist.

The cafe had been set for a re-brand and re-opening in January 2024 but there has been no further news.

Now the property has been officially emptied and re-entered by the landlord.