Team behind NBs and King Billy Rock Bar set to buy popular Northampton restaurant The Church

A potential buyer has been found for The Church Restaurant in Bridge Street.
A potential buyer has been found for The Church Restaurant in Bridge Street.

A potential buyer has been found for the popular Northampton town centre restaurant The Church.

The owners of The Church Bar & Restaurant in Bridge Street announced the Grade 1 listed venue had been put up for sale in September this year.

The restaurant - which is built out of a 12th-Century church - was forecast to close on January 1, 2019, if a buyer could not be found.

But now the team behind neighbouring rock bar The King Billy and nearby nightclub NB's are set to take over the venue in the new year.

Co-directors Mark Sawer and Ian Catlin - trading under a new company named Sawer Catlin Taverns Ltd - are in talks to buy the restaurant from current owners The Richardson Group.

Mr Sawer said: "We're very excited to get in there and get stuck in. We've always fancied running a restaurant and we're looking forward to creating our own atmosphere.

The new owners say they hope to work on The Church's reputation as a private hire venue for weddings and birthdays, and are looking into redesigning the menu.

Mr Sawer said: "We want to open it up to private events as they are The Church's bread and butter. We're also talking with the chef to see what he wants to do with the menu, which could include bringing prices down a touch."

It means The Church would become the pair's third business on Bridge Street, alongside The King Billy and NBs.

It comes after managing director of The Richardson Group, Jake Richardson, announced he was selling The Church after 30 years at the helm to focus on his family's property interests.

The restaurant is built out of a 12th Century church and is the oldest secular building in Northampton.