DAVE Whelan is hoping to tie up a deal for the former site of Sharpy’s fish and chip restaurant within weeks.
The Wigan businessman says a sale is now in sight with several unnamed businesses looking to maintain the Robin Park building in the form of a restaurant. The premises had started life as a gym.
Mr Whelan’s grandson David Sharpe was initially in charge of the business but later pursued other interests.
The restaurant eventually closed in February this year because it was simply not attracting enough customers.
After months of discussions though, it’s hoped that there may be light at the end of the tunnel for it to re-open as something else.
“There are some people still quite interested in that and we’re hoping a deal can be done in the next few weeks,” said Mr Whelan, who owns the site.
“It will be nice to see it open again, it’s a nice building in a good area. It’ll be great to see it back open as a restaurant and see some business in there.”
It was originally thought that chicken specialists Nando’s were heading there. But despite them confirming that the first Wigan restaurant will open next year, it won’t be at Sharpy’s.
Instead Nando’s say they will be located at a newly-built location. Speculation has been rife as to where this could be. One suggestion is a long-projected eatery alongside the former Pennington’s furniture store on Millgate which was shelved six years ago when the recession hit further phases of the Grand Arcade.
Another is that a Nando’s could spring up in the midst of the planned multi-million-pound revamp of the Galleries to include more restaurants and leisure facilities including a cinema.
Sharpy’s isn’t the only building standing empty at Robin Park. The former Kudos nightclub has been empty for more than a decade now.