Fylde bar owner’s tough decision to sell venues

Toast (Cafe, Bar and Grill)
Toast (Cafe, Bar and Grill)
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The owner of two of the Fylde coast’s best known nightspots has spoken out about why he has put them on the market.

Entrepreneur Richard Caunce has decided to sell both the Toast bar in St Annes and the Toast bar in Blackpool, calling it the ‘most difficult decision of his business life’.

The Blackpool business opened in former bank premises on Corporation Street seven years ago and the St Annes operation in Wood Street, which also includes The Loft nightspot, followed almost exactly three years ago giving a new lease of life to the former Joya venue.

The St Annes cafe bar and grill was put on the market last week as a going concern for a guide price of £299,995, having an annual turnover of £845,000, but now the Blackpool cafe bar is also up for sale with a price of £289,995 with a turnover of £695,000.

Both have built a reputation based on their British and Mediterranean-influenced menus and their food hygiene rating of five stars.

Today Mr Caunce confirmed that both will be offered as he concentrates on his property business.

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.

“Running two major operations in two towns – plus a successful property business is just proving too demanding.

“Anyone who has seen and experienced Toast in either Blackpool or St Annes will know I don’t do things by half but there just aren’t the hours in the day or week to concentrate on everything in the way that I want to – and I am not prepared to see either business suffer because I cannot commit fully to them.

“There is still plenty of potential in both businesses – particularly St Annes with its nightspot and popular live music sessions in the ground floor bar.

“Having built them both up from nothing I’m obviously upset at having to put them on the market but I would rather leave them in good hands while they are at the top of their game.

“It has been the most difficult decision of my business career but someone new can apply a fresh pair of eyes and new commitment to two businesses which have bucked the trend and established themselves as successes at a time when so many other businesses around them have failed.”

Both operations will remain open until new owners were found he said.

“It’s a new chapter – not the end of the story,” he added.