Ripley's, the Michelin-starred restaurant in St Merryn, Cornwall, is to close on 15 December, Caterer has learnt.
The restaurant was opened in 2002 by owner Paul Ripley, who has yet to decide whether to sell the business on or lease the site and retain its freehold. The pressures of running a small, 32-seat restaurant in an area heavily driven by seasonal trade had taken its toll, Ripley admitted.
"We're too small to have a big staff and I've always been very hands-on anyway," he told Caterer. "After nearly seven years I'm knackered and just want a break. You have to be on top of your game all the time if you hold a star, and I don't want my cooking to get stale."
Before opening the restaurant, Ripley was head chef at Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant in nearby Padstow. Last year he opened a deli in an old butcher's shop opposite Ripley's in partnership with fellow chef Dave Pope, whose interest in the outlet he recently bought out.
Ripley will now concentrate on building up the deli business, which he intends to relaunch in the spring after taking a winter break from the stove.
"I'm looking at doing tables outside in the summer so we can serve coffee and a few tapas-style dishes," he said.
By Joanna Wood
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