Aston Villa's much-loved Restaurant VMF will close forever in a month's time despite a five-year tenure which has seen it win a host of awards.
The Villa Park restaurant closes its doors for the final time on July 19 – despite occupying the lofty position of Birmingham's seventh best-rated restaurant on Tripadvisor.
A club spokesperson said VMF was a five-year project and was closing as it had run its course.
However, it marks a skills blow in one of the city's biggest pockets of deprivation as the restaurant was largely run by apprentices from under-privileged backgrounds who both prepare and serve the food.
VMF - Villa Midlands Food - was established in October 2010 as a training restaurant, offering a way into the hospitality sector for young people living within a ten-mile radius of the stadium who are not in education, employment or training (NEETS).
When it was established, Mr Lerner told the Post senior officials at the club felt morally obliged to put something back into the community.
He said they wanted to demonstrate a "sustainable commitment" to the Aston neighbourhood and the idea of a training restaurant was born.
He said at the time: "VMF is a very visible aspect of what the Aston Villa philosophy is all about. We firmly believe that our football club should be a central pillar of the local community.
"We now have a high calibre restaurant which provides young people from the local area the practical skills and experience to have a rewarding career in hospitality. This is good for both the club and for future generations."
The VMF project saw apprentices spend two years with Aston Villa Hospitality and Events, working toward a level two NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Services with Walsall College.
While learning the ropes in food preparation and service, the trainees are encouraged to muck in at Villa's allotment plot just over a mile away in Brookvale Road, growing seasonal produce to be used in the kitchen.
The restaurant has received a substantial haul of awards in its first three years, including the top gong at the Football Hospitality Awards as well as a Green Apple Environment Award.
When it was established, it became the first hospitality training establishment to be set up by a football team and served up to 50 covers.
It is presently rated the seventh place in Birmingham on Tripadvisor with 265 out of 324 reviews handing out five stars.