Chefs open restaurant in Lancaster canal quarter

Two Lancaster-based chefs have joined forces to open their own restaurant business in the city’s canal quarter.

Alan Hempton and James Cocker have opened The Quarterhouse Kitchen + Bar on Moor Lane, which will create 10 jobs.

Alan and James previously worked as chefs at the Borough in Lancaster. They were keen to set up their own eating place to promote the European concept of small servings for sharing with friends and enjoyed with wine or locally brewed beer.

Having spent 12 months searching for the perfect location in Lancaster, Alan and James purchased the assets of a restaurant that has now ceased operating, and obtained a lease of the building, in the heart of the theatre district of the city.

The chefs named the restaurant The Quarterhouse to reflect it location in the Canal Quarter. The food served is prepared using locally sourced ingredients and cooked fresh onsite.

Local firms Harrison Drury solicitors and MHA Moore and Smalley accountancy firm advised them on the deal.

Alan, who qualified as a chef in Italy, said: “It’s always been a dream to have a restaurant of our own. We were keen to find a suitable location in this busy part of Lancaster and after searching for nearly a year, we were delighted to find a restaurant business for sale right in the heart of Lancaster’s cultural quarter.”

Jack Stephenson, solicitor at Harrison Drury’s Lancaster office, advised them on the acquisition and lease agreement. Adam Parton, partner at MHA Moore and Smalley provided further support for Alan and James on business and tax planning for their new restaurant business.

Jack said: “Alan and James were very keen to get started and make their vision a reality. When the restaurant business in Moor Lane came up for sale it ticked all the boxes. We worked quickly to secure it, making it possible be open and ready for business for the start of the festive season.”

Adam said: “Lancaster’s city centre has seen a lot of growth recently with the development of Lancaster University’s student accommodation. Coupled with the commercial and residential plans for Canal Quarter, Alan and James have certainly picked a great location for a restaurant business.”

Alan said: “Jack has been integral in helping us secure the business and with a favourable lease agreement too. Coupled with Adam’s expertise in the hospitality industry we have been backed by a great professional team that has helped us all the way.”

James added: “The Quarterhouse is now open and offers a great place for locals to meet and eat. We look forward to a busy Christmas season and have exciting plans to develop our menu and to continue supporting local suppliers into the future.”

PHOTO: Left to right: -Adam Parton, MHA Moore and Smalley,  chefs James Cocker and Alan Hempton, Jack Stephenson Harrison Drury