Preston's Fives bar closes but Guild Hall owner promises exciting future
A popular Preston cocktail bar and grill has closed its doors after its owner decided to re-let the building.
Fives bar in Guildhall Street closed after trading on New Year's Eve after months of speculation about its future.
But it has already attracted attention from interested parties who are keen to take the venue forward.
Simon Rigby, multi-millionaire owner of the Guild Hall, confirmed the closure on Sunday (December 6) and revealed that he had already been approached by prospective partners.
But the Preston business tycoon warned that it may be some time before the doors at 49-51 Guildhall Street are opened to the public again.
"Yes, Fives has closed", said Mr Rigby.
"We have been unable to agree terms with leaseholder Shaun Patchett and therefore have decided to re-let Fives."
He added: "We have had a number of approaches but Fives is such an iconic building we plan to take our time and find a strong partner to develop Fives.”
Mr Rigby said efforts will be made to offer all staff alternative employment at his other Guild Hall establishments.
Mr Rigby also owns the Level entertainment complex, as well as Review bar, Bonds 1947 coffee shop and the former Vittorias restaurant.
In 2016, Mr Rigby bought the Grade II listed building, home to Fives, after the historic building had stood vacant for six years.
He oversaw the renovation of the building before leasing it to Shaun Patchett, a London-based operator, in early 2017.
In December 2018, the business was visited by bailiffs after changes were made to its lease. But Fives continued trading and remained a popular destination over the Christmas period.
But the future of Fives became increasingly uncertain toward the end of 2017, with speculation suggesting Mr Rigby was considering taking the venue in a different direction.