Search
The Caterer

Paul Heathcote sells five restaurants to Living Ventures

05 November 2010 by
Paul Heathcote sells five restaurants to Living Ventures

North-west-based chef-restaurateur Paul Heathcote has sold the majority of his restaurant portfolio to Living Ventures, owner of the Gusto, Blackhouse Grill and Est Est Est brands.

The former two-Michelin-starred chef has sold five of his nine remaining restaurants to the group, which was founded by Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, for an undisclosed sum. They include three Olive Press sites in Manchester, Liverpool and Cheadle Hulme as well as Grado in Manchester and London Road in Alderley Edge.

The move comes just weeks after Heathcote was forced to close his Liverpool flagship Simply Heathcotes and the Leeds branch of his Olive Press group of restaurants.

The deal leaves the chef with four sites including his former two-Michelin-starred Longridge Restaurant in Preston, Heathcotes Grill & Bar in Clitheroe, which opens next week, and two Olive Press sites in Preston and Bolton. Heathcote is currently looking to sell the Bolton site.

Heathcote said the deal would allow him to concentrate on gaining recognition for a small group of restaurants.

"I have always said that at 50 I would change the way I worked. After nearly 35 years in the business I still have ambitions, including gaining Michelin recognition for Longridge," he said.

"I have known Tim Bacon, CEO of Living Ventures, for many years. He is a very good operator and has had great success in growing his two brands - Gusto and Blackhouse Grill - so I know the restaurants are in good hands."

Heathcote and Living Ventures have entered a licensing agreement over joint continued use of the Olive Press brand, with both parties set to decide on future branding of these outlets in due course.

"There is every chance that I will look to rebrand the Preston restaurant in the New Year but a final decision has yet to be made," added Heathcote.

Paul Heathcote suffers second restaurant closure as Leeds Olive Press shuts >>

Paul Heathcote closes Simply Heathcotes in Liverpool >>

Paul Heathcote plans to return the sparkle to Longridge >>

Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts profile >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.