Top chef Paul Heathcote puts former Longridge Restaurant up for let

The Longridge Restaurant launched top Lancashire chef Paul Heathcote on an amazing culinary journey.

By Fiona Finch
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 12:30 pm

It was his first restaurant and it won two Michelin stars.

Now the empty former Longridge Restaurant premises have been put up for let by the award wining chef and businessman – and he hopes it will again become a popular venue for discerning diners.

Paul, who lives in Ribble Valley, says he decided to market the property on Higher Road, Longridge, through his own social media and has already had a good response.

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Up for let - the building which was the site of Paul Heathcote's award winning Longridge Restaurant

He said: “I’ve quite a lot of followers on Twitter. It semed like a good idea. It seems to have created a lot of interest. I’ve had a couple of really interested enquiries from social media. I’m showing one round on Friday and the other on Tuesday.”

He said either would be “a great addition for the Ribble Valley” if they decided to become tenants, adding: “My aspiration is for somebody who can make it great again.”

He copntinued: “Obviously it’s where I started my life in business. I didn’t really see it as a business I guess then, I just saw it as my restaurant. It brought me an enormous amount of happiness and success.”

Historic building - this blue plaque tells the history of the former restaurant which Paul Heathcote has put up for let

The restaurant building, which can seat 60 covers, is to let for £30,000 a year. It has had a varied history starting as The Quarryman’s Arms serving workers from the local quarry, being converted into two homes, then becoming a cafe for cyclists and a restaurant. Its names have included Pilgrims and The Royal Sovereign. Most recently it operated commercially as a Thai restaurant.

The property, which has had its once distinctive whitewash removed, also offers a private dining room/living accommodation and bar area.

Paul opened the restaurant in 1990 and said: “I ran it for the best part of 25 years and I suppose if I think about it now there was really myself and Northcote Manor (at Langho) that were probably striving to do something different or something of a higher level and we both managed to achieve that.”

It was the start of a foodie revolution in Ribble Valley and Paul said: “I think what’s happened in Ribble Valley since is quite amazing really.”

He cited award winning gastropubs such as the Freemasons at Wiswell and the Parker’s Arms at Bolton by Bowland, as well as the newly re-opened Three Fishes at Mitton and a restaurant revolution further afield with restaurants such as Moor Hall at Aughton, near Ormskirk and the recently opened Sōlō near Aughton all adding to the county’s claim to fame as a top eating out destination.

He said: "We have really got some extraordinary eating establishments along with lots of established places like the Inn at Whitewell….We’ve got some wonderful places. Perhaps I was a catalyst for people believing it could be done and there was a market here.”

The 61 year old went on to build up his own dining out empire and while the restaurants have closed the 61 year still runs Heathcote & Co events catering company. .

Paul’s Tweet read: “Looking for a good owner for my restaurant in the beautiful Ribble Valley a building which once held two Michelin stars please retweet to anyone who might be interested #RibbleValley #Michelin #chefs”