NEWBURY’S popular burger bar, Rio’s, could be sold by April.
It has been on the market since May 2017, with the current owner saying the time had come to “slow down” and sell the business.
In addition to Rio’s, three other units in the Eight Bells Shopping Arcade – two of which house the business – are also being marketed.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News last week, Mark Lynas, who opened Rio’s in 1989, said: “It’s time for me to start to think about slowing down.
“I live on the Isle of Wight, so it is the time to sell up.
“The reputation of the business is second to none, but running it is a different matter.
“I hope whoever buys it maintains the business as it is.”
The manager at Rio’s, Ruth Headon, started a crowdfunding campaign last year to try and raise enough money to buy the business from Mr Lynas.
Mr Lynas added: “I have had a buyer lined up since April last year, but I accepted Ruth’s offer to buy the business.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out and the original buyer is still interested.
“By April this year, hopefully, it will be sold.”
Rio’s opened in 1989 and has grown into one of the most popular bars in town.
In a recent poll on NewburyToday, Rio’s was overwhelmingly voted the town’s favourite takeaway.
Mr Lynas added: “I will miss the business and the customers and I will need to find something to do.
“I may open a Rio’s on the Isle of Wight.”
Rio’s signed a 10-year lease on the property, which expires in 2022 – although Mr Lynas said it had been guaranteed for a further 10 years after that.
The business, therefore, could stay in the same location for the forseeable future.
Mr Lynas sold the business in 2002, but was persuaded to buy it back in 2010 owing to popular demand.
A post on Facebook indicating his interest in returning to the business received 4,000 likes and comments.
The Eight Bells Shopping Arcade units are being marketed by Quintons Commercial Property Agents, Newbury, and offers in the region of £225,000 are being invited.
Investors can hope to gain more than £17,000 in rent a year from the three units.