Wednesday, February 14, 2024

News: Two popular Rotherham venues announce closure


It was a heart-breaking Valentine's Day for two popular Rotherham venues as they both announced shock closures at the same time.

Tonight, the shutters were down and the locks were bolted with no couples enjoying a romantic meal or sharing a drink.

The operators of Rancheros Bar and Grill posted on social media that it had closed "due to circumstances outside of our control," just hours after the operators of neighbouring Roadhouse Bar & Bottles posted the same.

Rancheros brought Brazilian and Latin cuisines to the borough, converting an empty retail unit into a restaurant and bar at Stag Roundabout. Opening when Covid-19 restrictions were still in place, the venue became a hit with TripAdvisor reviewers who made it the number one ranked restaurant in the town.

The restaurant is from Doncaster-based restaurant entrepreneur, Masud Rana, owner of La Boca and La Rustica in Doncaster town centre, and the La Fiesta tapas restaurant in Armthorpe. Whilst the Rotherham branch underwent a revamp in 2022, the Doncaster branch of Rancheros closed in 2023, within a year of opening.

A message on the restaurant's Facebook page reads: "With a heavy heart, Rancheros Rodizio bar & grill will be closed for the forseeable future due to circumstances outside of our control.

"We would like to thank all our beautiful, supportive customers for being part of our extended family, providing such great times and unforgettable memories.

"Rest assured, all booked customers who paid a deposit will be contacted and reimbursed.

"We will continue to work hard in providing a community space to be enjoyed by all in the future.

"Watch this space for more updates!"

The announcement message is similar to that posted by the team at the Roadhouse, the bar which opened in 2021 in the former supermarket store room near to Rancheros.

The reasons for both closures have not been made public but a notice of peaceable re-entry by the landlord was on display at the restaurant premises.

Leases often allow for landlords to take back possession of a property by physically entering it and changing the locks without court proceedings - if they think they have the right to do so - usually a breach of the lease by the tenant.

The property which contains both, 154 - 156 Wickersley Road, was listed for sale with Crosthwaite Commercial in October 2023, expecting offers around £350,000 for the freehold interest.

The 13,926 sq ft property was owned by London-based The Bampton Property Group Limited, the same company issuing the notice this week, when a ten year lease was signed for the restaurant unit in 2019.

The notice shows that the operators of Rancheros and Roadhouse came together to create a company and that is who has the lease.

For the team at the Roadhouse, plans were already underway for another venture in the borough. A premises licence was recently secured for an empty former opticians on Laughton Road in Dinnington.

Images: Crosthwaite Commercial / Tom Austen


Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 7:14 AM  

Rumors are there are issues with the building which are affecting the tenants insurance. How true that is, I don't know. But it's a shame to loose either of the outlets.

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 8:51 AM  

I'd heard similar rumours about the roof. The responsibility as to who undertakes the repairs would depend on the details of the lease signed.

Typically (and not necessarily in this case), properties are leased on full fix and repair terms. However, as both properties are based on the ground floor and don't have a roof, it is likely that any structural roofing repair would fall outwith the tenant's responsibilities. The landlord may have been entitled to ask for a partial contribution towards such repairs, with at least half the building empty, they may have asked for something the Rancheros and Roadhouse team didn't feel was fair. But again, this falls into the realms of speculation.

I suspect the issues must have been going on for some time for the landlord to effectively lock both companies out of the building, at the same time, on a date which would likely impact upon Valentine's Day trading, typically a busy time for the hospitality industry. It must be asked why did the landlord do this? After all, any such action would likely to result in a breakdown in the relationship between landlord and tenant. Possible scenarios may have been: Tenant withholds rent and negotiations have broken down, tenant fails to fulfil obligations, etc. Although I think it's very important to stress, that may not be the case here and I not know all the details, I don't think it would be appropriate to speculate.

I feel sorry for the Roadhouse team in particular, it was a popular, well-liked business and although both businesses were a positive addition to the stag roundabout, it wouldn't surprise me if they've ended up getting dragged into something beyond their control.

The Companies House records for Rancheros seem to be a little odd to say the least. Three new Rancheros companies, all based at the same address have been set up since 2020. All of which trade under the same name (not usually considered good practice for obvious reasons, as it can cause confusion in relation to what liabilities are associated with the new and old companies).

However, only one of which filed accounts, which related to the 12 months of trading to October 2021. None appeared to fulfil their basic duties such as filing annual returns with Companies House, etc. So something doesn't stack up there. That's a failure in business basics 101.

I feel sorry for the Roadhouse team. It looked like they had built a brilliant little business.

It's a shame for the local area and for the individuals involved.

On a positive note, at least with so many empty units available throughout the borough, hopefully the Roadhouse will rise again elsewhere!

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 9:15 AM  

Lose not Loose!

jamiewalton February 15, 2024 at 9:55 AM  

Mistype, but if that response is what makes you happy gor for it son!

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 11:59 AM  

Maybe a town centre Roadhouse?

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 5:46 PM  

They need to relocate to the town centre,if it is only the building being a problem.

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 6:17 PM  

You talk about not wishing to speculate but that’s exactly what you’ve done. All speculation.

This is a blow for the area around the stag. It’s this area where we need another roadhouse not elsewhere and certainly not town centre.

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 6:53 PM  

The lanlord is selling the building and it will be redeveloped by someone, the owners have been fighting the landlord for over 12 months now, it's a shame a greed has got hold od the current owners, watch this space, it will be knocked down for flats etc soon enough

Anonymous,  February 15, 2024 at 9:02 PM  

That's just what the stag roundabout needs.. Another 20-30 flats!

Anonymous,  February 16, 2024 at 11:52 AM  

Having not used the restaurant, I can only comment on the Roadhouse. Chris and his lovely team have built up a fantastic business in a very short time, a period that has been extremely trying with the effects of Covid etc. To be effectively wiped out by the actions, or likely inactions, of a London based landowner, only adds insult to injury. This business was an asset to not only the area but the town as well. I dont think I'll ever get the opportunity to watch an internationally recognised bluesman like Errol Linton a 10 minute walk from my house. That being said, what is done is done. I would imagine the Roadhouse people are completely demoralised by developments, however, if they have still have the motivation to carry on, I would suggest they make contact with the Rotherham Investment and Development people down at Riverside House. As mentioned above, I'm sure there would be suitable, alternative premises in town, though I appreciate that its present location is part of its attraction. To sum up,I'm really saddened by this shock announcement. Thankyou for some great times.

Anonymous,  February 27, 2024 at 4:19 PM  

Surely even Rotherham Planning won't allow them to build on a roundabiut

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