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Award-winning Hoghton restaurant closes
An AWARD-winning Hoghton restaurant and pub has closed with the proprietor describing the decision to close as 'heart-wrenching'.
The Sirloin Inn and fine-dining eatery Thyme shut earlier this month after being under the current ownership for eight years.
Both the pub and Thyme@thesirloin were run by husband and wife Wayne and Alison Keough.
Their food won several prizes, most recently the 2009 North West restaurant of the year in the Hi-Life Dining Awards.
The business employed seven full-time and 14 part-time staff.
Mr Keough, 45, who lives in Darwen, said a combination of factors caused the closure.
“For two successive Decembers we had masses snowfall and sub-zero temperatures which saw trade fall at our busiest time,” he said.
“We were also getting squeezed tighter by suppliers coupled with ever-rising rent, rates and utility bills.
“One thing we wouldn’t do was drop our standards so we made the painful decision to close.”
The restaurant won praise for its use of Lancashire produce including game, cheese and given the sirloin name, top quality beef.
Mr Keough said he and his wife were very appreciative of their staff and many customers.
He added: “Many of the our team have been with us for years, including our chef Andy Nuttall, who was here when the restaurant started.
“They are a hugely professional team.”
The name of the centuries-old inn derives from a visit to nearby Hoghton Tower by James I in 1617.
Legend says that the king was so moved by the excellent loin of beef he was served that he took his sword and knighted it.
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