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French rugby star sells Cheltenham restaurant to first-time operators

One of Montpellier Street, Cheltenham's long-standing French restaurants,

Armagnac, has been sold by specialist restaurant advisers Christie + Co to
first-time buyers, who offer an extensive background and knowledge.

The regency town of Cheltenham, known for its racecourse, Pittville Pump
rooms and many other historic references will be home to a new- name,
new-concept restaurant in the former Armagnac. The restaurant will be
renamed Tarragon Restaurant and will move away from the modern French
cuisine to offer Montpellier with a fresh, casual fine-dining experience
with exotic meats, exclusive wines supplied by Tom I'Anson and
locally-sourced beers and ciders with a regularly changing menu.

The restaurant has been sold due to the increased commitments of the former operators, Olivier and Kate Azam, who are now based in France. Olivier Azam is a coach at French Top 14 rugby team Toulon and for many years was a front row forward at Gloucester RFC.

The Azams' departure has opened the door to first-time buyers Sadek Ahmed and Tom Johnson. Both are experienced chefs with extensive CVs; Sadek comes with a background of restaurant management, which includes Café Rouge in Cheltenham, while Tom Johnson comes with a CV including Sous Chef at Café Rouge, Cheltenham and Chef De Partie at Grape & Olive, Swansea.

Prior to the acquisition of Armagnac, the business partnership were running
the Grape & Olive, Swansea for SA Brains and are extremely excited about
getting back to their home territory in Cheltenham.

Valerie Turner, restaurant negotiator for Christie + Co in the South West
says: "This sale is evidence that first-time buyers, as well as existing
operators, are in the market for restaurant businesses. Cities still remain
on the top of the list when it comes to restaurant requirements but we are
finding more and more people are looking for lifestyle opportunities in the
countryside as well, showing a great balance in the sector. Positioned
amongst independent retailers, coffee shops and restaurants, Tarragon
Restaurant will be a great addition to the area. This is a great opportunity
for Sadek and Tom given the location within Cheltenham and we wish them a successful future."

The restaurant closed in May 2013 due to the pending sale and the new owners are re-opening Tarragon Restaurant on Friday 28th June 2013 from 6pm.

Source: Chrisite + Co

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