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Fives cocktail bar is bought by Simon Rigby

Posted on - 19th November, 2016 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Food & Drink, News, Preston City Centre
What was Fives is set to reopen as a cocktail bar and restaurant Pic: Tony Worrall

What was Fives is set to reopen as a cocktail bar and restaurant Pic: Tony Worrall

Simon Rigby has expanded his empire in Preston once more with a new purchase.

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What used to be Fives and the Face Chinese restaurant has been sold to the multi-millionaire Preston businessman.

He bought the Guild Hall in Lancaster Road in the summer of 2014 and has explained why he’s chosen to buy another property in the city centre.

Mr Rigby said: “We want to open a casino in the Guild Hall but we also knew there were plans for the old Fives to be a casino.

“So we drew up a proposal to work together with the current owner of what used to be Fives to buy that building and so we can apply for a casino licence in Preston’s Guild Hall.”

Read more: Guild Hall opens new live music venue

Former owner of Fives Edgar Wallace had already secured planning permission for a casino to operate in the venue in 2014.

Mr Wallace said: “I am pleased that Fives is going to another local businessman who will look after ‘her’ as I have done.

“I have been proud to own Fives. Obtaining a Gaming Licence is very hard but if anyone can do it, Simon and his team can.”

Read more: Apartment plans for former yeast warehouse down Guildhall Street

Fives is now due to become a cocktail bar and restaurant, while Mr Rigby focuses on creating a casino in the former Morrison’s supermarket in the Guild Hall compelx. He will need to apply for a Gaming Licence, approved by the government, for this to be able to happen.

Mr Rigby said he had already had significant interest from London-based providers to operate Fives.

He said: “It’s a fantastic building and it’s all there and ready to be taken on.

“We are in advanced talks with a London-based provider to do something really classy in there in terms of food and drinks.”

Entrance to what used to be Fives Pic: Paul Melling

Entrance to what used to be Fives Pic: Paul Melling

A brief history of 49/51 Guildhall Street

Built in 1878 the building is grade II listed and was the former Preston Conservative Club.

It became Fives and gained quite the reputation in Preston until it closed in 2006.

It re-opened in 2007 as the Cocktail Factory in the basement, and became Vintage Bar and Priory Bar upstairs.

Read more: See inside Priory and Vintage, a throwback

The building closed in 2011 and was purchased by Edgar Wallace in 202 who has been working up to making the building a casino.

Any memories of Fives or its previous incarnations? What do you think of Rigby’s decision? Let us know in the comments below

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