Famous Preston chippy Umberto's up for sale as couple look to retire

Umberto Frediani
Umberto Frediani

A piece of Preston’s culinary history has been placed on the market.

Umberto’s chippy, on Watery Lane, which has traded in the city for almost 50 years, has been placed on the

market for £625,000.

Italian-born cook Umberto Frediani, 77, has been serving up the nation’s favourite dish at his chip shop since 1973.

READ MORE: Frying tonight at Preston’s best-known fish and chippy

But the father of four, and his wife Aideen, 80, have decided to hang up their aprons and retire.

The chip shop has seen many highs and lows over the last few years, a symbol of defiance through challenging economic circumstances.

It rose from the ashes of a devastating fire in 2013, and before that had managed to survive the pitfalls of months

of roadworks which had seen it hidden behind hoardings, which had made it harder for customers to drop in, but is still thriving.

Umberto said "After nearly 50 years serving the people of Preston and beyond it’s time to take it a little easier. It’s been a pleasure to meet so many customers, some who’ve become very good friends.

"When we first opened the shop in 1973, Preston Docks was still operating and BAC and English Electric were thriving factories along Strand Road. I’ve witnessed their sad demise and the regeneration of Preston Docks, including a lively spell when the Manxman was the place to go.

"From early morning to the wee small hours the shop has attracted customers from across the city and across Lancashire. We’ve even had calls on Christmas Day asking if we are open! I’m not going anywhere quickly so Preston will still get the same service it’s had for five decades."

Wife Aideen added: "Running the shop wouldn’t have been possible without brilliant staff, loyal customers and our supportive family. We will only sell when the right buyer comes along so it may be a while before we finally leave. "When that happens we will let everyone know."

Son Richard said his parents had been "pioneering shop owners".

He said: " From selling ice cream, alongside fish and chips, during the heatwave in 1976, through late night opening in the 1980’s when the rest of the city still hadn’t realised the potential of the night-time economy, to the extremely popular lunchtime offers which causes queues along Watery Lane, it’s no understatement to say Umberto’s is a Preston institution.

"The shop may have my Dad’s name over it but none of the success would have been possible without mum. "They both deserve their retirement - but I’ll only believe it when it happens."

Black's Brokers Director, Joanne Booth, said: “Every so often we get the opportunity to work with iconic businesses like Umbertos.

“ It is rare that a opportunity comes along for someone to purchase a business with such history that so many

locals will want to see continue."