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New start in Ripon for restaurateur

La Grillade owner Guy Martin-Laval hopes the restaurant will open on Kirkgate in September. (S)

La Grillade owner Guy Martin-Laval hopes the restaurant will open on Kirkgate in September. (S)

Ripon has been chosen as the new home for the popular La Grillade restaurant after its owner refused to meet the “horrendous” rent demands of landlords in Leeds.

Marseilles-born owner Guy Martin-Laval’s new premises on Kirkgate, opposite Ripon Cathedral, are due to open in September and will offer around 60 covers plus private dining space.

He said: “One day I was passing by and thought it was a good spot,” he said.

“I got in touch with the landlord and he was the most incredible man and said he wanted to see someone making a success of these premises. It’s wonderful when you have a landlord that wants you to succeed.”

Mr Martin-Laval said he was encouraged to opt for the spot as many of his clientele are based nearby in North Yorkshire and diners can expect a similar experience to what made the restaurant its name in Leeds.

He took the decision to shut his French restaurant on Wellington Street in Leeds just before Christmas after 33 years in the city because of rental costs. The restaurateur, who initially considered reopening elsewhere in Leeds, said: “Since January, in Leeds, every place I wanted to open was asking absolutely horrendous rent and it’s like Leeds was trying to get rid of private operators.

“It’s OK as a multiple operator to pinpoint Leeds as a place to be and have 20-30 other places elsewhere to support it if things are tough in Leeds. After six years of recession, it’s been difficult for everyone but I had not made anyone redundant. My landlord was asking for another rent increase so I just shut the door.”

 

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