‘Ooh la la’ for old restaurant

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A well-known Leyland restaurant is set to get a new lease of life.

The former Casa Caterina, on Chapel Brow, has been lying empty since owner Catherine Jump and her tapas restaurant moved out last year.

Now, new owners have bought the building and are set to open up as a French bistro.

Karen Cottam, together with partner Ian Boasman, have had previous experience with The Vine Bar in Eccleston and Bistro French in Preston.

She said: “We have run four bistros and are now back to restaurants after taking a break out to run a pub.

“This is a great site and it seems to be in just the right place.

“It has plenty of takeaways but nothing like this so we hope it does really well.”

The restaurant has been stripped bare and work is now underway to transform it back to its former glory.

Casa Caterina was one of Leyland’s success stories but had been dogged by controversy in recent years.

In 2009, Antonio Raphael, who ran the restaurant with Ms Jump, pleaded guilty to breaking the pelvis and wrist of her mother, Ethel Stevenson.

He admitted inflicting grevious bodily harm against the pensioner and at the time Ms Jump said she could never forgive him, but the two later reconciled.

Karen, who has no connection with the previous owners, said: “The place doesn’t look great at the moment but there isn’t too much work to do.

“We got the place a couple of weeks ago and have started to do some things. We hope to be open by the beginning of May.

“Chapel Brow has plenty going on and it’s a cracking site so hopefully all of our previous customers will follow us.”

Julie Pass, of Leyland Home Brow on Chapel Brow, said: “We have too many takeaways around here so I’m glad it won’t be another.

“It’s ridiculous really because sometimes it will be busier at 2am than it is in the day. I saw people starting work there last week so it will be good to get something done.”

Pat Davis, of Shoe Care on Chapel Brow, said: “I was sad to see Casa Caterina go so I’m glad the place is going to be another restaurant. Leyland needs more places like that.”