Bell's Diner goes on the market for £400,000
ONE of Bristol's best-known restaurants, Bell's Diner, has been put up for sale.
Since 1997 the Montpelier fine- dining restaurant has been run by chef/owner Chris Wicks – but Bell's Diner has been a familiar name on York Road since 1976, when it was first opened by Shirley Anne Bells and John Payne, who went on to buy the Colston Street Brewery.
Valerie Turner of estate agents Christie and Co, who are offering the freehold on the restaurant for £400,000, said it was an "ideal business prospect". It is being offered as a going concern.
In its early days the restaurant thrived on its bohemian reputation, serving mainly students. Between 1981 and 1986, Bell's was run as a vegetarian restaurant and was bought back under the management of Shirley Anne Bells when the reputation of modern French cuisine grew.
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But since Chris Wicks bought the business in 1997 and took the helm in the kitchen, the restaurant has become more exclusive, focusing on a fine dining experience.
Mr Wicks said he was looking forward to new challenges, although had not decided exactly what else he would be doing.
"After 18 years in the kitchen here I am probably going to do something different, I don't know myself what that will be," he said. "I will carry on at Berwick Lodge but that is all I know."
Mr Wicks said that he will stay on at Bell's Diner until a suitable person was found to carry it on.
He said: "The time and history here is great – in its 37th year and I am sure the whole thing will carry on."