Chef-restaurateur Paul Heathcote has confirmed that he has sold the Olive Press & Brasserie in Preston, after owning the business for 21 years.
The sale of the Italian restaurant, which accommodates a total of 200 covers on the ground and lower ground floor of a Victorian building overlooking Winckley Square and incorporates a private dining space, has been sold to an undisclosed independent restaurant group. A sum of £250,000 was sought for the leasehold interest of the site.
Winckley Square is due to undergo a renovation worth around £1m this year.
Heathcote will now concentrate on developing and expanding his outside catering business, Heathcote & Co, having sold his flagship Longridge restaurant, which held two Michelin stars, in 2012.
The majority of staff at the Olive Press will be offered alternative employment at Heathcote & Co.
Heathcote said that he has known the new owner for a long time and he was confident that they would bring something "new and exciting" to Preston.
"There is a lot happening in the city and with this year's plans for the Square and Fishergate Centre there is much to look forward to," he said.