When Alba Bar and Deli opened in Burnett Lane in April 2019, it quickly cemented its place as one of Brisbane’s best openings of the year.

Owner Jamie Fleming described the bar as being a San Sebastian tapas joint meets ’90s New York City drinking den. The former Masterchef contestant had history working in some of the country’s most beloved cocktail bars and the combination he created in his moody 50-seater brought killer cocktails, a Spanish-tilting wine list and Spanish tapas and pintxos to an adoring crowd of regulars.

So it was a surprise when the Alba team took to Instagram on Friday evening to share that it would have its final service the following night.

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Economic pressures were behind “this heart-wrenching decision”, the statement read. “We are a small team and always tried to offer the best quality service and produce. Unfortunately, with prices of everything going up and little support, there is unfortunately only one clear end.”

The post went on to thank everyone who had helped bring Alba to life. “From the team members, suppliers, friends and anyone who came through the door, you have helped bring something amazing to life. A special thank you goes out to the hospitality industry at large. We have always had huge support from those we respect and love the most, our peers. Without your support, Alba would have been another statistic and instead, we have been given the opportunity to swing for the fences and continue to hit the mark.”

The statement ended on a lighter, more optimistic note: “Whether we are a bar you eat well at, or a restaurant you get lit at we still don’t know. What we do know is we are Alba and we have never been anything else. This won’t be the last you see of us. Promise.”

The news echoes an alarming national trend which has seen a slew of venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide close in the past six months as the national hospitality industry struggles to keep up with inflation, rising interest rates and ongoing staff shortages.