A TOWN centre restaurant was forced to close on Saturday, leaving 80 pre-booked customers with nowhere to eat.

Mussi’s, in Museum Street, Colchester, had to cancel all bookings when the extractor fans failed in the kitchen.

That meant the gas safety interlocking system failed and shut the ovens down.

Jane Mussi, a spokeswoman for the family-run restaurant, said: “We can only apologise again to the 80 people who we had to let down on Saturday night.

“We thought we might be able to fix it, but unfortunately we were left with no choice.”

The malfunction happened at about 5.30pm on Saturday.

Staff then called every customer who was booked in for an evening meal to break the news.

During winter, the restaurant is not open on Sundays, so no bookings were affected.

No pre-bookings were taken for Monday.

The restaurant re-opened yesterday.

Mussi’s will be open as usual for customers already booked in for Mother’s Day, on Sunday.