Top 50 Gastropub the Moorcock Inn set to close early next year

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Farewell looms: the Moorcock Inn will close after a five-year life filled with success
Farewell looms: the Moorcock Inn will close after a five-year life filled with success

Related tags: Food, Gastropub

The owners of the popular The Moorcock Inn in Norland, West Yorkshire, have announced they will close the business in January 2023, five years after taking it over.

In an email newsletter sent out yesterday (30 March), co-owner Aimee Turford confirmed that she and chef Alisdair Brooke-Taylor took the decision as the five-year point offers a break in their lease, but added that the reason behind it 'are several and varied'.

"Ultimately, the five-year point... presents the question of whether we conclude at five or continue for another," said Turford.

"Simple pragmatism plays a part. In honesty, we have barely caught our breath from the past two years, and now costs in every area spiral, recession looms, there is the prospect of supply issues, the world is an unstable place right now. Frankly, it’s just no time to be running a small business like ours."

Significant difficulties

She continued: "Although, it’s far from all about this. We do not own the building and this has led to some significant difficulties at times. There are some personal reasons too, for both Alisdair and myself that lead to this decision being inevitable."

The Moorcock Inn is currently placed at number 30 in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list​ and is ranked at number 14 on the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards top 100 list​, and described as 'a local-boozer-cum-hip-restaurant that has gained a cult reputation as one of Britain’s most exhilarating food experiences'.

Turford didn't reveal what plans she or Brooke-Taylor have for the future, but did confirm that they do not plan to open another pub together.

"Everything aligned with the combination of our location, our offering and the guests willing to be a part of it.

"A shinier building, or a different location, or investors. It could make something similar, but not equal."

Little piece of history

Turford acknowledged everyone who has been involved in the pub's operation since they took it over, including staff, suppliers and customers, and added that the decision to announce the closure so far ahead of time meant they could be a part of the pub's closing chapter.

"We cannot know what is next for The Moorcock, but we are grateful to have been a little piece of its history.

"Love or loathe us, we suspect this incarnation will be remembered for a while. And we will never forget this little pub on this windy hill. With its wild weather, warm people and those sunsets. Which gave a lot and took a lot. In a way that things in life can sometimes."

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