Two town centre restaurants have closed without warning.
Maidstone restaurants Madisons in Gabriel's Hill, and burger chain 7Bone in Earl Street, have both shut abruptly.
Mystery surrounds the closure of Madisons, which came to the town in 2020, after it suddenly cancelled and returned deposits for people who had made bookings up to Christmas.
The eatery closed "out of the blue" yesterday after a "change of owners", according to a former spokesman.
Social media channels for the restaurant, which ran a popular bottomless brunch, have been deleted and its website has now been set to private.
A call to the restaurant yielded no luck, with a short voicemail message saying: "We're very sorry but Maidsons is unable to take any reservations or bookings at this time."
Similarly, 7Bone, which opened next to Zizzi's in December last year, closed to customers on Tuesday, July 19.
Unlike Madisons, the burger chain, which has a restaurant in Canterbury, has explained its recent temporary closure is due to staffing shortages.
A spokesman said: "This is a temporary closure while we look to rebuild and get the team to a critical mass, so we can continue to operate at a sustainable level.
"We’re looking to rebuild the team as unfortunately the headcount we had did not result in the ability to operate at a sustainable level for the foreseeable future – which was not fair on the team we had, or the customers.
"In parallel to doing this, we will continue to monitor the current restaurant climate in the town.
'It is disappointing because there’s not many places like Madisons in Maidstone...'
"When in a position to reopen, the date will be confirmed on our social media channels."
Some staff have been moved to the Canterbury restaurant, which is near the cathedral.
It is not the first time businesses in the town centre have mysteriously shut – The Green Room, also in Earl Street, closed just seven months after opening.
A former owner of the five-storey event centre hit out at the government for "scaremongering" about Covid-19 which led to the business allegedly losing £500,000 of profit during lockdown.
One woman took to social media questioning the sudden closure of Madisons restaurant after she had booked a work party for Christmas.
She explained she had received a voicemail from staff saying her party had been cancelled and she was refunded, without an explanation on the reason of the closure.
"It is disappointing because there’s not many places like Madisons in Maidstone, only MuMu," she told KentOnline.
"I would have thought if it was money related it wouldn’t have been so sudden and they wouldn’t have refunded our deposit, but who knows?
"It is quite similar to The Green Room situation."