Two of the Fylde Coast’s best known restaurant bars have closed, bosses have confirmed.
Richard Caunce, the owner of the Toast venues in St Annes and Blackpool, said it was a tough decision to make but the time had come to move on to other projects.
The popular nightspots in Corporation Street, Blackpool and Wood Street, St Annes have been a major part of the coast’s nightlife, but served their last meals this month.
The St Annes venue is currently vacant, but the Blackpool venue is set to be taken over by another restaurant operator from the area.
Both had been put up for sale by Mr Caunce in December last year in what he described at the time as “the most difficult decision of my business career.”
The St Annes cafe bar and grill was put on the market as a going concern for an initial guide price of £299,995, having an annual turnover of £845,000, while the Blackpool cafe bar was up for sale for £289,995 with a turnover of £695,000.
He said: “Both raised the bar in what could be achieved and it is with a heavy heart that I am having to let them go.
“I have taken both Toasts as far as I can but the catering and hospitality industry is not something you can do successfully if you cannot commit yourself to it 100 per cent.”
The businesses continued to remain open until this month, when Mr Caunce finally took the decision to close them.
He said today he was now concentrating on his property business. He said: “It was a tough decision but Toast in St Annes and Blackpool have both now closed.
“I would like to thank all of our customers over the past few years and wish the new operators every success for the future. The St Annes bar has gone back to the landowner, but Toast Blackpool is being taken over by a couple who run a Spanish restaurant.
“They have a great operation and have made fantastic names for themselves. I think Blackpool is ready for a Spanish tapas restaurant.”
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “It is sad to see Toast closed. It’s a landmark building within the town;s flourishing restaurant quarter centred around Wood Street and so much money was spent on it. It is such a shame to see it no longer open and we can only hope someone brings it back into operation very soon.”