NUMEROUS people are chasing deposits, which they paid to a restaurant before it suddenly closed down.

La Scala, in Chorley Road, Westhoughton shut around three and a half weeks ago and a number of people have been left out of pocket.

One man claims he paid £185 to secure his booking, just two days before it was closed.

Mark Shaw had booked a table for five at the restaurant, for Christmas Day.

He said: "What got me was I went on the Sunday to pay the £185 and then two days later he shut, which is just not right really. You know if your business is going to close.

"If I didn't drive past the place I wouldn't even know it was shut.

"I've emailed them and got no reply."

Mr Shaw is worried many more people will be in the same situation as one of the sittings on Christmas Day was fully booked up with 150 people.

He added: "We just about got into the second sitting on Christmas Day and it's 150 people per sitting, then there's the New Years Eve sitting, so there's probably a lot of people in the same boat.

"I'm hoping I can get the money back on my credit card, but I think taking money from someone a few day before you shut is not ethical."

Another person with the same problem is Sheila Davies, who booked a table of six for New Year's Eve.

Like Mr Shaw, she claims she wasn't informed by the restaurant about the closure and only realised it had shut when she read a previous article on The Bolton News website.

She said: "I couldn't believe it when I saw it because it's where I'd booked for New Year's Eve.

"I'd have just turned up on new Year's Eve if I hadn't seen the article.

"I also know somebody who'd booked in on Christmas Eve for 18 people."

Ms Davies said attempts to get her deposit back have so far proved unsuccessful and that she's struggling to find somewhere else to go at such short notice.

"They had a phone number for their legal representatives on the window, but I rang them and they said they're no longer covering it and don't know who is," she added.

"When I booked, they said they didn't take bookings over the phone so I took £150 in cash. We actually got a receipt but it seemed strange at the time.

"We've been going there for several years and we've had to find somewhere else at short notice, and now I'm under pressure from my sister-in-law to get the money back.

The Bolton News have approached La Scala for comment.