THE owners of The Box Tree in Ilkley are looking to hand over the reins of the renowned restaurant after 15 years at the helm.

Simon and Rena Gueller have instructed specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, to handle the sale of The Box Tree, together with Box Tree Events outside catering business in Ilkley.

Simon and Rena are looking to take a step back. They said: “After over 35 years in the Yorkshire restaurant scene we are looking forward to taking some time to spend with our family and some well-earned holidays. With a new grandchild on the way we felt now was the right time to engage Christie & Co to find the right person to take the business forward. We are very excited to see how the Box Tree and the events side of the business progress and we are happy to support the transition in any way. We have a wonderful team of staff in situ, not least Michael Carr, our head chef, Michelle Hudson-Renton, who heads up the events side of the business and Chris Stapleton, our restaurant manager, as well as a dedicated team both front of house and in the kitchen, so any new owner will benefit from an experienced and highly motivated team.”

Jon Patrick, Head of Leisure & Development at Christie & Co is overseeing the sale process. He said: “We are delighted to be bringing to the market such a rare and sought-after opportunity. The reputation of the Box Tree alongside the potential to increase the events and catering side of the business with the creation of a centralised production and distribution facility will no doubt attract interest from across the UK and beyond. Christie & Co were responsible for the sale of the Box Tree when it first came to market back in 1986 and we are well aware of the history of this wonderful restaurant and are looking forward to finding new owners for the next chapter in its evolution.”

The Box Tree has been an ever-present feature of the Yorkshire fine dining scene for over 50 years. Dating from 1720 and one of the oldest buildings in Ilkley, The Box Tree restaurant was opened in 1962 and quickly became the North’s most successful restaurant. Over the years, the Box Tree has won numerous accolades and Michelin stars as renowned chefs Michael Truelove, Edward Denny and the more contemporary Marco Pierre White, each made their mark on the menus and the history of the restaurant.

Owners Simon and Rena Gueller have worked tirelessly to deliver their clientele an exceptional dining experience with innovative food and the highest standards of fine dining, whilst retaining the essence of what makes the Box Tree such a loved and unique place. Over the last two years they have undertaken significant investment including a comprehensive refurbishment of the front of house as well as kitchen improvements.