KUTI Miah opened his first-ever restaurant in Southampton in 1980 aged 20 after emigrating from Bangladesh.

But now the iconic Kuti's eatery on the Royal Pier may have to shut for good due to being unable to cover costs, according to its namesake and owner.

He said: “If we don’t get help, we’ll have to close.

“I don’t know when, but we can’t carry on as we are.

"We’d love to have more people coming through the door because if not, we need some extra cash flow from somewhere.”

It was reported earlier in the year that Joytun Bari Limited – owned by Mr Miah – went into voluntary liquidation at the end of last year after incurring £840,000 worth of debts.

“This restaurant is my life; it feels more like home than my actual home," Mr Miah said.

“I love what I do, and I couldn’t imagine what my life would look like without it.”

Kuti's began life as Kuti’s Brasserie, which relocated from London Road to Oxford Street in 1994.

It then moved a third time to its current picturesque waterfront location, which opened for business in 2008 under the streamlined name many are now familiar with.

A restauranteur for more four decades in the city, Mr Miah’s eatery is famed for its award-winning food; star-studded guests including Peter Shilton, Kevin Keegan and Matt Le Tissier; and as being the place of work of now-Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

But after having to close for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and re-opening in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, Mr Miah said the business was in jeopardy.

READ MORE: SWR services on September 1 as RMT and Aslef members strike

Daily Echo:

Mr Miah added: “I fell in love with the city and the people of Southampton from the first moment I came here. I’ve been all over the world and have always told people I’m from Southampton and I’m very proud of that.

“I took over the Royal Pier in 2006. It was derelict and it took two years to refurbish, so we worked very hard to build it up.

“It’s a wonderful setting overlooking the water, for many years Southampton has been the gateway to the world.

“I’m very lucky to have served many customers for a period of decades and I consider many to be like family."