Would-be lawyer changed career courses as he recovered from a heart condition and having a tumour on his spine.
Seasons Restaurant in Chorley has seen the crowds flooding in since it reopened last month.
Owned by teenager Oliver Marsh, the tapas restaurant and bistro greets its guests like friends rather than customers.
And staff at the St Thomas’ Road eaterie say they love belonging to such a close-knit team.
Oliver, who turned 18 yesterday, overcame serious illness to take on the eaterie, where he often visited in the past.
He has overcome a heart condition and later had a tumour on his spinal cord, and last year launched self-help book The Best is Yet to Come.
Oliver says: “I always wanted to own a restaurant in the future but I was going to go to university and become a lawyer first.
“Recently I have had tumours on my spine and I knew it would be more difficult to do the training while I needed radiotherapy.
“I’ve always wanted a restaurant so I’ve skipped that step, and I took the step of buying this restaurant where I used to eat all the time.”
He explains: “I approached him, he knew I was a regular customer, and I made him an offer.
“I took over on June 10 this year, and we have doubled the number of customers we get in.”
He says: “I think it’s a very relaxed and enjoyable place to work.
“There are seven people employed here including me.
“I feel like it’s better keeping it between a small community and we can all work together and take pride in our job.
“We are a very close-knit team and without any of them the business wouldn’t work as smoothly.”
Oliver was 17 when he bought the business and says: “I think my age would definitely have an effect if I wasn’t able to carry out the tasks that the other staff are doing.
“But I can cook and on Saturday night our bar man was ill and I managed to run the restaurant handedly with only one member of staff.
“I think they have the respect there because they know I’m not just a kid who can’t do it.”
General manager James Stow has worked at Seasons for the last three months, and has been in the restaurant business for 11 years.
He says: “It’s fantastic, weekends are always fully booked up.
“A lot of my regulars from my previous restaurant are coming in and raving about it.
“It’s nice and friendly.
“It’s not like a formal eating restaurant, it’s more like we want to get to know people, have a chat with them and treat them more like friends rather than customers.
“It doesn’t make any difference how old Oliver is because he is fairly clued up on everything and he looks to me for guidance, so I give him a helping hand and we work together well.”