SPECULATION is chilli-hot that a hip fast food giant is beating a path to Wigan.
Sources have assured the Evening Post that chicken multiple Nando’s, which has popularised the tongue-tingling Peri-Peri taste across Northern Europe, is negotiating to take-over the site of an up-market but failed fish and chip restaurant.
Sharpy’s next to the DW Stadium closed last week after a debate that service may be being suspended after a plunge in trade, pending a possible re-launch.
The move coincided with the court appearance of a manager who admitted stealing a large amount of cash from the till over many months.
However, the large sign hoardings have now been removed from both the entrance routes into the restaurant on the Robin Park complex.
And serving and chef staff have had contracts terminated, suggesting closure is in fact permanent.
Meanwhile a long-established Wigan fish fryer source who has made inquiries about buying the now redundant chip preparation equipment which is less than two years old, said that he had been assured the site in Loire Drive was set to become the borough’s second Nando’s – there has been one in Leigh for nearly two years.
He said: “I was told no ifs and buts – Nando’s have got it.”
When approached by the Post, Nando’s did nothing to dampen the growing enthusiam across the town’s young people at the prospect of their appearance.
A spokesman said that as an expanding company with a growing customer base they were keen to fully consider new sites to trade from and grow their brand of food.
But no specific comment was forthcoming at the time of going to press about the Sharpy’s site. Owner of the site, Latics and DW supremo Dave Whelan was last night unable to say whether the large site, once home to Fitness First Gym, had yet been re-let.
Nando’s finally made it into the UK opening near the famous studio site in Ealing, West London, in 1992.
It now operates approaching almost 300 restaurant sites across Britain – a quarter are Halal – and is known to operate an impressive appetite for expansion.
Many are located in retail park sites near cinema multiplex ... further fuelling belief that it wants Sharpy’s site.