Christie & Co officially put Raby Hunt up for sale or rent

The Raby Hunt, which is based in Summerhouse, Darlington, closed its door for the final time on January 27 2024, with the former chef-patron, James Close having taken up a new position as Culinary Director at Rockliffe Hall.

The restaurant, which is owned by Close’s parents, is now offered for sale on a freehold basis, or to let (new lease offered), due to the family having received early interest from potential, would-be tenants for sale or rent.

The Northern Echo: James Close inside the Raby HuntJames Close inside the Raby Hunt (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

James’ parents, Russell and Helene Close, said: “The reason we’ve opted to offer the restaurant to let as well as for sale, is that we have absolute faith that in the hands of a capable and experienced chef/operator, this premises can retain its reputation for being a go-to for diners, both locally and from further afield.

“James established this premises as a destination restaurant, and we have lots of other, superb eateries in the area.

“As well as just coming here to dine, we can see huge potential in encouraging people to stay for more than just the food and spend time in the region, visiting places like Barnard Castle, Bowes Museum or Durham City.

The Northern Echo: One of the bedrooms in the Raby HuntOne of the bedrooms in the Raby Hunt (Image: CHRISTIE & CO)

They added: “The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales National Park are both within easy reach also.

“The letting accommodation side of the business has huge growth potential. As well as letting the premises, we are offering for sale all fixtures, fittings and equipment, and importantly, the business name, intellectual property, and the social media following that goes with it.

“This gives any new operator an unbelievable platform to showcase what they have to offer.”

The Northern Echo: The restaurant door through to the Raby HuntThe restaurant door through to the Raby Hunt (Image: CHRISTIE & CO)

In the listing, the venue is described as: “Set in a pretty, rural village, this former drovers’ inn was previously part of the Raby Estate.

“The Raby Hunt is a superb example of a state-of-the-art restaurant decorated in a contemporary style, fully fitted with cutting-edge equipment and high-end furnishing.

“The property is in turnkey condition, and able to trade immediately without any need for investment.”


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The freehold (to include all fixtures, fittings, equipment & IP etc) has been put up for sale at £750,000.

The Leasehold is being advertised at price/rent on the application, with prospective tenants being encouraged to contact David Cash at Christie & Co to discuss the opportunity in more detail.

David Cash, Regional Director at Christie & Co, added: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the Close family to sell this superb restaurant with rooms.

“We expect interest from other, very capable and ambitious chefs, as well as hospitality operators who have other venues elsewhere who see the Raby Hunt sitting well within their portfolio.”

The Northern Echo | Business News