MYSTERY surrounds the now empty Pagoda Palace in West Swindon.

Customers and local businesses are mystified at the sudden closure of the restaurant, on Pepperbox Hill, and the disappearance of its owners.

Grant Goodhew contacted the Adver to say that he had booked a wedding reception at the venue but when he tried to contact the restaurant he found the phone lines had been disconnected.

Mr Goodhew, who lives in Plymouth but is originally from Swindon, paid £150 to reserve his booking and now has no way of retrieving the lost cash.

He said: “Due to my partner being Chinese, or British-born Chinese, we wanted to have a traditional Chinese banquet which was due to be held on July 12 this year.

“Having booked the venue with Albert Tang himself, who I have read is highly respected for his charity work, I have found out through friends that the restaurant is no longer open and all the internal fixings have been cleared.

“Out of respect I would have expected Albert to let me know that the our booking was cancelled and refunded our deposit of £150, which we left with him.

“We have tried to contact Albert in every method possible from trying to phone him, to find the phone lines are disconnected both at the restaurant and his home.

“As you can tell our big day has been hindered, and without my friends insight we would have been even worse off.”

Alan Mok, who owns the Rendezvous restaurant, said he had been surprised at the speed of the closure.

He said: “I’m not sure what happened – I thought the bank had taken control of the business. The last I heard Albert had gone back to Hong Kong. I was quite surprised to hear it had closed but with the way the economy is at the moment I suppose I shouldn’t be.”

But the Adver, with whom the restaurant used to advertise, understood that the Tang brothers had sold the business to a Mr Leung.

Yesterday the restaurant stood deserted with no information for customers or creditors on who they should contact. The Adver could find no record of the business at Companies House. The restaurant, which can seat 400 people, opened in 1990 as the Chinese Experience.

In 2004 it was taken over by the Tang brothers – Albert and Tony, who immediately gave it a £150,000 refit, recruited a Chinese chef from London and flew in a Dim Sum specialist from Hong Kong.

But just seven months after the costly facelift a fire ripped through the restaurant causing serious damage and a lengthy closure.