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Case study: Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar – Visions & dreams

10/06/2016

Once a much-loved clothes shop in the heart of Stratford upon Avon, Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar is today a top venue in the town. More than 12 years ago, its owner John Lea identified the Loxleys site as a potentially great location for a restaurant and wine bar. In December 2012, his vision became reality when he opened the doors of Loxleys Restaurant & Wine Bar. John explains its journey.

“When visiting my weekend retreat in Stratford a few years ago, I came across Loxleys Clothes Shop and thought what a great place it would be for a restaurant or wine bar.

“Its owner Kay Ball was what I would describe as a true ‘lady’, always very smartly dressed. Initially, I wrote her a letter, introducing myself, explaining my company had a business in Cheshire, and that I wished to open a business in Stratford. I asked Kay if she could consider us if she should ever decide to retire or sell the property. We received a reply and agreed to keep in touch.

“Five years later, I suggested Kay and I meet, and we did so over coffee at a local hotel. The meeting was enjoyable, and Kay simply said ‘When I retire – and I am only in my mid 80s – I will be in touch’.

“We did keep in touch, and five years later, Kay called me to say ‘I think it’s time I should retire as I am 88, and have completed 52 years at Loxleys’. We met to agree terms, shook hands, and the deal was done.

“Being from outside Stratford, I made enquiries into which firm of solicitors I should use, and the name Lodders kept coming back to me. I made contact with Lodders’ real estate team and there began a long association with the firm – I’ve used Lodders for licensing matters, personal family advice and other property purchase transactions. I have experienced advice from several of Lodders’ teams, indeed sometimes involving several departments at the same time, but all within one building, which has proved extremely useful.

What’s in a name?

“As time went by, I discovered the name Loxleys had been within Stratford even before Kay ran her clothes shop, being reliably informed that two sisters from Loxley ran it as a wool shop – so I have always assumed this is where the name came from. I thought it important to retain this history, so we decided to keep the Loxleys name for its next incarnation.

“With a blank sheet of paper, the creation of Loxleys Restaurant & Wine Bar began, and officially opened in December 2012. Our Head Chef was instrumental in the kitchen design, and our key staff are still with us over three years later. It’s been a pleasure for me to have shared the journey so far with them all.

Quality, good service and value

“Loxleys produces fantastic creative dishes. Our menu combines ideas from our chefs, management team, and
a little input from me too. Our clientele often ask if our other businesses are restaurants, and are quite surprised when I explain that before Loxleys, I had no experience of running a restaurant, only as a paying guest. However I firmly believe that every business is similar, regardless of its industry or products, as we all want the same: quality, good service and value.

“Loxleys is committed to keeping the menu fresh and seasonal. We have three changes each year, together with set price two and three course menus, specials, and themed evenings. Tuesday is ‘steak night’ and Wednesday ‘fish night’, which offer great dishes alongside our à la carte menu.

Provenance

“All ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, with each dish prepared and cooked from fresh, to order.

“Our aim is simple – to give guests a quality experience and great value for money. We are not big on chasing rosettes or stars – we let our reviews speak for themselves. If our guests leave happy, they will return and recommend us.”

“Our aim is simple – to give guests a quality experience and great value for money. John Lea, Owner of Loxleys

Visit: www.loxleysrestaurant.co.uk to find out more.

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