Customers ‘devastated’ as award-winning gastropub announces closure

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Iconic pub: an east Lancashire gastropub once transformed by Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth will close
Iconic pub: an east Lancashire gastropub once transformed by Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth will close
The closure of an east Lancashire gastropub once transformed by Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth has been described as the ‘end of an era’ by customers.

The Three Fishes in Mitton, near Whalley, will close its doors for the last time on Monday 6 May after operator Brunning & Price made the “difficult decision” to cease trading at the site.

The venue, which was transformed into a high-quality gastropub by Northcote’s Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth, has previously featured in Waitrose’s Good Food Guide​, been awarded an AA Rosette, and named Best Tourism Pub in the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2016.

However, a statement on the gastropub’s Facebook page and website explained: “We are afraid that we bring you the news that we will be closing our doors for the last time at 11pm on Monday 6 May.

“For many staff and customers alike, this is the end of an era and we would like to thank you all for your custom over the years; it’s been a pleasure to serve you. We hope, like us, you will take away many fond memories of visits past or time spent working with us over the past 15 years.

“Far from being the end, many of us will be joining our sister pubs in the area, and it is our hope we will see you again soon.

“We are open as usual until close of play on bank holiday Monday 6 May, and it would be super to see you all over the next few days, if you can make it.”

End of an era

At the time of writing, the Three Fishes’ statement had been shared more than 200 times on its Facebook page and received more than 500 comments as its customers paid tribute to the venue.

One patron commented that the news had left them “devastated while another described the closure as a “tragedy”. Another explained: “The Three Fishes became the pub that raised the bar for gastropubs in the Ribble Valley when it first opened its doors and has been a great go-to place for top-notch informal dining. It will be sorely missed.”

Moreover, speaking to The Lancashire Telegraph​, Howarth – who’s Great British Menu-​winning Lancashire hotpot recipe featured on the Three Fishes’ menu – explained: “It’s very, very sad. It breaks my heart.

“It was an iconic pub. I hope somebody buys it and can rekindle it.”

Difficult decision

The operator of 71 pub restaurants, originally in the north-west of England and north Wales, Brunning & Price bought Ribble Valley Inns in May 2018 – which included four of Ribble Valley’s five gastropubs.

“After a period of review and some serious consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to close the Three Fishes in Mitton on Tuesday 7 May,” Brunning and Price’s managing director Mary Willcock explained.

“Brunning and Price took over the collection of Ribble Valley Inns pubs in May of last year and have successfully refurbished and relaunched the Highwayman, Kirkby Lonsdale; the Clog & Billycock, Blackburn; and the Bull at Broughton, Flintshire, Wales. Sadly, the decision has been made to close the Three Fishes and consider our options due to its close proximity to the successful Aspinall Arms, which is just a stone’s throw away in the same village.

“We would like to thank Dan, Sal, Matt and all the team at the pub for their ongoing efforts. We are thrilled that many of the team will remain working for us in the Three Fishes sister pubs in the area.”

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