Restauranteurs queueing up to view former Lincoln Ruddocks shop

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Owners and agents of the former Ruddocks store in Lincoln say there has been a surge of interest in the iconic High Street premises, many of whom are from the catering industry.

The property was launched onto the letting market earlier this week after the 160-year-old business closed its doors for good.

The shop offered three floors of stationery, art materials, toys and gifts, as well as a cafe and the Ruddock family had owned the property since March 1904.

It closed its doors on April 15. 

The premises is now available to rent at £130,000 a year, exclusive of business rates and VAT.

Agents Banks Long & Co previously said there had been plenty of interest from other brands since the closure and a number of proposals had been received from national retailers and restauranteurs.

After announcing the closure of the shop, owner Henry Ruddock said he was “touched” by the support and calls for the return of the business shown by local residents.

He added that he had contacted John Lewis to gauge the company’s interest in the building.

He said in response to a previous story on Lincolnshire Business: “Many of you say you want Ruddocks back. Thank you so much for that, I am very touched.

“I am devastated we had to close, as were all the staff, but turnover was heading south and costs north, and despite trying everything we could think of over recent years, nothing worked.

“I have written to John Lewis, no reply. I have also been in touch with Betty’s which I thought would work well here, but they say they don’t work outside Yorkshire. Shame.

“As you would guess most (but not all) interest is from the catering sector. Watch this space!”

For enquiries, businesses can contact Banks Long on 01522 544515.