North west-based chef-restaurateur Paul Heathcote today closed his Heathcotes Grill & Bar in Clitheroe, blaming the economic climate.
Heathcote, who sold the majority of his restaurant portfolio to Living Ventures last year, is now left with three restaurants: the Longridge Restaurant, Heathcotes Brasserie and the Olive Press, as well as his catering company, Heathcotes Outside.
All of the staff at the Clitheroe restaurant, which reopened as Heathcotes Grill & Bar in October last year, have been found alternative jobs.
Heathcote said that the restaurant had continually under-performed since its relaunch and after taking professional advice, the closure had been inevitable.
"We sold six restaurants last year and my intentions were to run a smaller group but Clitheroe has been a continuous drain. I have supported it but it no longer makes financial sense," he said.
"Clitheroe is a great town and all my instincts tell me it should work. Maybe it is a great site for someone who wants to work for just one restaurant, or perhaps I pitched the offer too high - or maybe it is just due to the economic climate not being great.
"Retail and consumer spending is tough, you only have to see the news every day - TJ Hughes, Habitat, Focus DIY and Woolworths are only a few of the big names so Heathcotes Grill & Bar is not alone."
By Kerstin Kühn
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