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Tyrone riverbank restaurant Otter Lodge up for sale

By Margaret Canning

Published 27/09/2016

Otter Lodge in Cookstown is now on the market
Otter Lodge in Cookstown is now on the market

One of Northern Ireland's best-known rural restaurants is on the market as its owners prepare to retire.

Otter Lodge in Cookstown, Co Tyrone has been a well-known food destination in mid-Ulster for decades.

Now the owners, married couple Harold and Heather Moffett, are leaving the business after nearly 30 years in the trade.

The venue is on sale for an undisclosed sum, but it's expected that the restaurant will be valued at around £500,000.

However, no asking price has been disclosed by selling agents Burns Commercial for the restaurant.

The 1.75 acre site is next to the Ballinderry River, in a location described by Burns Commercial as "prime and idyllic".

The restaurant has been trading for almost 30 years, although there is planning permission available for further development at the venue.

Heather and Harold Moffett said they had spotted the potential of the idyllic riverbank location, and after buying it, started a major extension and upgrade before opening up in its present form in 1987.

According to a spokesman, the Moffetts developed "a reputation for serving good food and easy drinking wines at value for money prices".

Mrs Moffett had already run Chequers Pub and Restaurant with her father Cyril - famously the first pub and restaurant in Cookstown to offer a la carte dining and a wine list.

The spokesman added: "There is planning permission in place for bedroom accommodation and three high-end self-catering apartments.

"The premises are set up for the next generation of entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector and should attract strong interest."

And Mr Moffett praised the culinary skills of his wife and business partner.

He said: "She has been cooking and serving the public as a restaurateur since the age of 21, and is by far and away the longest serving chef-proprietor in the district, surviving three economic recessions."

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