Liverpool restaurants group hungry for growth following Cheshire acquisition

Jonathan Poole, left and Paddy Smith

An award-winning Liverpool-based restaurant group, now in its third decade of success and with four flourishing brands in its current portfolio, has expanded to Cheshire.

R & B Restaurants, co-owned by Jonathan Poole and Paddy Smith, has acquired the popular Libby’s Bread & Wine in Marple Bridge, for an undisclosed sum.

The Cheshire-based bakery, coffee house and restaurant has become the first brand for R & B outside Liverpool.

Paddy Smith said: “We’re really pleased to add Libby’s as a going concern to the group. It’s near to where I live so I know it well and have always loved going there.

“We’re looking forward to building on the strong reputation Libby’s has enjoyed down the years and adding our experience of three decades in running successful, independent hospitality businesses just like Libby’s.”

In adding Libby’s to the portfolio, which now includes Salt House Tapas, Hanover Street Social, Bacaro and Bouchon, group turnover is now forecast to be in excess of £8.5m in 2022.

Jonathan Poole said: “It has obviously been a difficult time and inflationary pressures look set to continue for a while yet. Fortunately, demand remains strong and we’re profitable, so adding Libby’s to the business is exciting.”

The news comes just seven months after the opening of French bistro, Bouchon, in Liverpool, bringing the total number of restaurants to five in the current portfolio.