RESIDENTS and musicians are 'gutted' after a popular Bicester bar announced it would not reopen when restrictions are lifted.

Atic opened four years ago in Pioneer Square in the town centre and provided people with a variety of live music, alternative DJ sets and comedy shows.

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A 'chilled' late night bar with an industrial stripped back atmosphere, the site allowed budding musicians to showcase their talent.

But on yesterday, the independent business posted on its Facebook page that it would be closing for good.

It said: "With the heaviest of hearts we’ve had to make the toughest decision to not re-open again.

“We’ve had such a blast over the last four years. Met some real characters, worked with some incredible people and shared so many fun events. Memories that will last forever.

“Thank you to anyone that visited, supported and performed with us."

Business owner Ryan Mold, who also runs another Atic in Banbury, said the impact of the pandemic was the reason why he has had to shut the Bicester branch.

He said: "We’ve been adapting and constantly changing the business to survive over the last year to accommodate guidelines.

"Then unfortunately forced closures leave debt, payment plans you can’t honour and has become crippling.

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"In a business that’s ran with love and passion it’s important to know when to quit before it affects anyone's mental health."

Mr Mold plans to reopen Atic Banbury on April 17 for outdoor table service only.

Customers and performers have expressed their sadness at the Bicester bar closing down.

Resident Matt Pickett said on Facebook: “Absolutely gutted. Performed there many times and the open mic was always a great night with amazing people and staff.

“Had great character that you don’t get anywhere else. Real shame.”

Bicester musician Krissy Matthews said: "I am very sorry it has turned out that way for you. I loved the place. I have made many great memories in Atic. Good luck.”

Resident Aaron Marshall commented: "Can’t believe this, it was the best place to play, always had a good time. Bicester won’t be the same without it. Thank you for the memories."

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