The Merchant House, the longest-established Michelin-starred restaurant in Ludlow, Shropshire, is to cease trading under its current ownership. Its owner, Shaun Hill, wants to move to a bigger site nearer to the main West Midlands cities.
Hill has instructed local property agent Nock Deighton to sell Merchant House, which is also his home, for about £750,000 as a business or as a private residence.
After 10 years at the Merchant House, Hill feels he has done all he can within the existing format and now wants to do something different.
"It will be stimulating to have a go at a new form of punishment," he quipped.
At present, he said, there was "phenomenal pressure" on tables at the 24-seat restaurant.
Hill wants to work in a larger kitchen to explore new dishes - and that would require more staff than the current line-up of three.
Merchant House will close in early spring next year, and Hill will be seeking new premises with 60-70 seats. But he added he would not be chasing another Michelin star in his new location.
"Being given a Michelin star is nice but it is not something I sought," he told Caterer. "It is a by-product of what I have done, not the end product."
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 26 August 2004