Restaurateurs Chris and James Tanner have announced the sale of Tanners, their fine-dining restaurant in Finewell Street, Plymouth, which opened in 1999.
The sale to Ben Palmer, previously head chef at the Tanners' Barbican Kitchen restaurant in Plymouth, will provide the brothers with the funding to develop other projects, in addition to recent new ventures including the Kentish Hare in Bidborough, Kent, and three businesses in Looe, Cornwall: The Catch Fish & Chips, Str.eat Food and Quayside Fresh.
The brothers retain a foothold in Plymouth with the Barbican Kitchen, a brasserie on the site of the Grade II-listed Plymouth Gin Distillery, which opened in March 2006.
"The sale to a previous employee makes it special," said Chris Tanner.
"James and I have devoted 15 years to Tanners and it's where we started in business together, so it wasn't an easy decision to make.
"But times have changed and we can't physically be in all locations as much as we would like to. Ben will become the custodian and he's just approaching 30 so he's around the same age as James and I were when we started out."
Palmer, who will continue in his role of executive chef at Glazebrook House hotel in South Brent, Devon, is a previous quarter-finalist in MasterChef: The Professionals and worked as head chef at the Barbican Kitchen for a year.
He trained at Plymouth College with stages at the Hand & Flowers and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, among others.
The young chef, who has stayed close friends with the Tanner brothers, will rename Tanners as the Greedy Goose, which he will open in November 2014 with his wife Francesca. He told The Caterer that he was both excited and nervous.
"We were looking to start our own business and when this opportunity came up it was just too good to miss.
"With The Greedy Goose, Francesca and I hope to create a slightly more relaxed approach to that at Tanners. The menu will consist of simple, modern food with bags of flavour and a couple of quirky dishes for good measure."
Chris and James Tanner will continue to develop new concepts and explore new locations to continue to extend their business empire. Their last service at Tanners will be on Saturday 25 October.