UPDATE: Staff fears as Smoke suddenly shuts weeks before Christmas. Read more here.

MYSTERY surrounds Smoke Barbecue as the hugely-popular restaurant suddenly shut up shop this week.

The eatery, which set up home in a large unit on West Regent Street in April 2016, is believed to have closed on Monday, apparently without warning to customers or staff.  

Smoke quickly became a firm favourite with city diners with its large portions of smoked-over-oak and hickory meats.

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The company has remained tight-lipped about the closure; the branch’s Facebook page has been deleted and the Twitter page has also been closed down.

The Evening Times has attempted to contact bosses for details.

One shocked Smoke fan told us: “I had been standing waiting for a bus outside the restaurant just two days ago. The place was pretty busy.

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“Then, yesterday, the place was shut. There was an auction van outside and massive fridges were being hauled out. All the wood paneling was piled up as well.

“There was no indication it would close.”

We’ll bring our readers more as, and when, we get it.