Preston is on the "wishlist" of places where Hickories Smokehouse wants to open a new restaurant - but won't be drawn on rumours about Hutton pub
American-style restaurant chain Hickories Smokehouse is looking for sites to open in the Preston area.
The chain, which started in Chester and now has 13 restaurants across the UK, has been rumoured locally to be interested in opening at the Anchor pub site in Hutton, after landlord Peter Sutcliffe announced it would be closing at the end of the month, as a victim of Covid.
>>>Click here to read what the landlord of the Anchor had to say.
But while Hickories wouldn't be drawn on the Anchor site, they did confirm Preston was "definitely on our wish list".
A spokesman for Hickories said: "We don’t have anything concrete in the pipeline for Preston at the moment although we have been looking for suitable sites in the area for some time – it’s most definitely on our wish list as we’d love to come to the area."
The closest Hickories to Preston is in Southport, which opened in early 2018. As well as offering southern-style food, it also has a bar, cinema room for children and outdoor eating booths.
The Anchor site
There has been an Anchor pub on the Hutton site since at least 1824 - it was originally called the Blue Anchor. The current building was put up in the 1930's.
At one time the owner built a dance hall next door - now the site of an Indian restaurant - and also constructed two rows of terraced houses in Anchor Drive for staff.
Mr Sutcliffe has sounded a warning to potential restaurateurs looking at the site, saying people in Hutton "only want something if it's half price or cheap - not on the drink side, but certainly when it comes to food."