One of Paul Heathcote’s restaurants has gone out of business. The celebrity chef’s restaurant closure also comes with 17 jobs lost. A spokeswoman for Paul Heathcote has blamed the closure of The Olive Press on a lack of footfall as well as the economic recession. The restaurant was located in Leeds City Centre in the Canal Wharf area.
The Olive Press was originally called Simply Heathcotes, opened by Paul Heathcote across from the Leeds-Liverpool canal. The restaurant, built inside a past grain house, served mainly Italian cuisine.
All 17 staff members that were laid off following the closure of The Olive Press have been offered jobs at other restaurants owned by the Heathcote Group. Unfortunately, the minimum commute to the nearest restaurant for the staffers would be 50 miles, and none of the laid off staff have taken up the offer. According to sources, Mr Heathcote has been in talks with some other restaurants in the area to find work for these employees.
This is not the first restaurant closure for the celebrity chef. A Liverpool restaurant that Paul Heathcote owned was closed down in August. Still, the company’s spokeswoman has said that the business overall was not in financial trouble.
She did not comment on the issue of redundancy pay-outs, but she did say that “all contractual and legal obligations” regarding the laid off employees were met. It is also unclear whether or not Mr Heathcote will decide to open up another restaurant in the area later. She said that Mr Heathcote is “looking to open up more restaurants” but is undecided when it comes to locations for the restaurants.