Fine-dining restaurant Artisan in Yorkshire is to close after more than eight years, with its owners hoping to open a new venture in the same space later this year.
The multi award-winning restaurant in Hessle, East Riding, which was first opened by husband and wife team Richard and Lindsey Johns in December 2004, will shut its doors at the end of April.
Richard insisted it was the right time to close. "It's nothing to be sad about, it's just a natural progression," he said. "Between us we have taken the restaurant has far as we possibly can. We are very proud of what we have achieved but as with anything in life, things need to move on."
He added that the couple is currently in discussions to buy the freehold of the Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in which Artisan is located, in which case they will relaunch the space as an entirely new restaurant in the autumn. They plan to extend the current 16-seat dining room to accommodate up to 45 covers and also add a bar to the site.
"The first thing for us is to take some time off and go travel around France and Italy to get inspired about food again," he said. "When we come back we want to open something more contemporary that will appeal to a wider audience."
Richard added that the couple had hoped to gain a Michelin star. "But after eight years we realised it probably won't materialise so it was time to change.
"What we are doing at Artisan with the tasting menu only is so niche and it's a difficult area. We want to build on our experience and reputation going forward in a new direction that will provide long-term stability. We feel really positive about the future."
Artisan occupies the site of a former greasy spoon in an area not known for its gourmet restaurants. Richard is a self-taught chef, while Lindsey left a career as a crime scene investigator to oversee the running of the restaurant.
It has won a string of awards including the Yorkshire Tourism award for Best Restaurant in 2010, and the Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year for the North East of England in 2011.