EAST Lancashire’s original gastropub is still up for sale despite several expressions of interest over the summer.

The Three Fishes in Mitton near Whalley shut its doors in May and was put on the market shortly afterwards.

In 2004 Northcote’s Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth turned the village pub into a high-quality eating place as the first of his Ribble Valley Inns chain.

In May last year four of its five gastropubs – including the Three Fishes and the Clog and Billycock in Blackburn – were sold to pub restaurant chain Brunning and Price.

Less than a year later, the Chester-based group closed the Three Fishes because it was too close to its other food pub in Mitton The Aspinall Arms.

However they decided to sell the inn with its drinks licence.

It is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of pounds if it is eventually sold or a rent of £60,000 a year.

Ribble Valley council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “I am pleased that The Three Fishes is being sold with an alcohol licence.

“The leisure sector is very important to the Ribble Valley.

“I would be delighted if someone would take over The Three Fishes and bring it back into use as soon as possible.”

The Three Fishes is on the market with Christie and Co and Rightmove with ‘offers invited’.

It is described as a ‘first class Ribble Valley dining inn’ with a lounge and dining restaurant for 150 customers, beer garden and patio for 100 and 60-space car park.

The sale includes five bedrooms, a meeting room for 30 people and a 25-year free-of-tie lease.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands several hospitality operators have expressed an interest in the inn with one restaurant proposal being dropped at a late stage.

It also understands that two or three potential purchasers have been in talks with the owners and one is close to starting final negotiations.

Keith Stringer of Christie and Co said: “This presents a fantastic opportunity for a new owner to take on the remaining term of a free of tie 25 year lease at a proposed rent of around £60,000 per annum.

"It is ideal for a wide variety of potential new pub landlords.”