THE owners of Galleria Restaurant and Gallery in Rainhill have closed the doors after five years, to prioritise on their art and grandchildren.

Norman and Mala Dawson first opened the venue 15 years ago, offering food and beautiful art to customers.

However, this week they announced the closure of the business as they both retire, something they’ve described as ‘a bittersweet moment’.

Mala, 68, said: “We both feel like it’s a bittersweet moment but it is time and we have found someone who is going to take over the venue and keep it as a restaurant but with their own take and name which makes us feel good.

St Helens Star: Norman and Mala inside GalleriaNorman and Mala inside Galleria (Image: Mala Dawson)

“We have three grandchildren, one is newborn and for the past 15 years we’ve worked Christmas Eve, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and all the key events, so now it’s time for our family.

“We are artists and appreciators of art so we will continue to sell art and work on our own and sell them online, but it was time to finally retire.”

Announcing the news on social media, they said: “Last night after fifteen wonderful years we closed the doors for the very last time and there is no coming back this time!

“It is with mixed emotions that we close this chapter of our life, but take away with us so many cherished memories and special friendships.

“To the wonderful staff (especially our talented chefs) that have helped and supported us throughout the years, to our amazing artists, our lovely friends and loyal customers we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

“We certainly couldn’t have done it without you.

“All our love and good wishes”

St Helens Star: The Star's picture at the venue's launch in 2009The Star's picture at the venue's launch in 2009 (Image: NQ)

Mala, 68, added: “This community is amazing, I’ve lived in Rainhill most of my life and I love it here, we closed once before but ended up coming back. This time though it’s the right time for us.

“We’ve seen things change in the past 15 years, The Star came to our launch and we’ve had great times.

“Thank you to our customers and the artists. We’ve loved our time with you all.”

To follow Mala and Norman’s art page, go to @GalleriaRainhill on Facebook.