North west-based chef-restaurateur Paul Heathcote has closed his flagship Liverpool restaurant, Simply Heathcotes, after 10 years.
The former two-Michelin-starred chef blamed the closure of the restaurant on the demolition of a nearby bridge link, which significantly reduced footfall to the area.
“The location changed and the demolition of the bridge made a significant difference. Before we had between 1,500 and 2,000 people walk past the restaurant every day – now we’ve become a destination restaurant,” Heathcote told Caterersearch.
“You can blame the recession or the increased competition but I don’t think this had much to do with it.”
Heathcote added that all members of staff at Simply Heathcotes, which shut yesterday (25 August), had been offered alternative roles within the group, which comprises 10 restaurant in the North-west.
The closure of the Liverpool branch of Simply Heathcotes, which was initially set up with the idea of rolling the concept out as a chain, comes two years after the closure of the Manchester restaurant.
However, Heathcote said he would not rule out reopening the restaurant in Liverpool in a different location. “Liverpool is a great city that has been very good to us and other parts of our business in the city, including the Olive Press and Heathcote’s Outside catering at the Arena, are extremely successful,” he said.
“We’ve had 10 successful years in Liverpool and 20 successful years overall. Every now and then you have to take a small step back.”
Heathcote still operates his flagship Longridge Restaurant near Preston as well as Grado in Manchester; London Road in Alderley Edge; and seven Olive Press branches.
He sold events catering arm Heathcote’s Outside in 2006 but remains executive director.
By Kerstin Kühn
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