Restaurant boss gives a Mexican wave goodbye
THE city's only independent Mexican restaurant has been put on the market for £75,000.
Agents selling the leasehold Arribas, on Notte Street, said it is hoped to continue the business as a Mexican food outlet, but it could be turned into any sort of restaurant, or the building could be used for something else.
Christie + Co also said the 100-cover restaurant business could be expanded and even extend its opening hours.
Current leaseholder Chris Christophi declined to comment, but Christie + Co said was selling up because he wanted to focus on other business interests in the Plymouth area.
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Christie + Co's Matthew Smith said: "It's a chance for someone else to come in and roll out their style of operation.
"It doesn't have to stay as a Mexican-style restaurant and could be any number of things, subject to planning, but is most likely to stay as licensed premises.
"And they could open longer," he said.
"The opportunity now exists for a hands-on owner/operator to come in and expand the business."
Arribas, which employs six full-time and six part-time staff, is Plymouth's only independent Mexican-style eaterie.
The Chiquito chain has an outlet at the Barbican leisure park, while the Las Iguanas chain, which is moving to Royal William Yard, serves "South American food".
"This particular type of cuisine is scarce in Plymouth as few restaurants cater for Mexican food," said Mr Smith.
"This niche cuisine, combined with the potential for increased opening hours, provides a unique opportunity for expansion."
The two-storey, flagstone Arribas building was built by Isaac Foot Senior in the 1880s, as a Mission Hall.
After being gutted by enemy bombing during the Second World War it was sold for a nominal sum by David Nash, a grandson of Isaac Foot, to the Elim Church and continued to serve in an ecclesiastical role until 1983, when the congregation moved to Embankment Road.
The building was then turned into a restaurant by Michael and Jill Robinson, who re-christened it the Barbican Revival.
Mr Christophi has owned it since 2004 when it became Mexican-themed.
The lease, which commenced in January 2004 for a term of 21 years and is expected to be renewed at the end of the term, is being sold for a guide price of £75,000.
Accounts for the 2010/11 financial year show net sales of £417,232.