Bicycle Thief owners buy Rossendale

18:38, Mar 24 2014
Richard Middleton and The Bicycle Thief
NEW PLANS: Richard Middleton outside the condemned Bicycle Thief. "The central city is just not ready."

After losing their inner-city business, the owners of The Bicycle Thief are finally moving on.

Richard and Lisa Middleton have recently purchased the Rossendale Restaurant and Cafe on Old Tai Tapu Rd in Halswell.

Richard Middleton said the couple were excited to get stuck in and had high hopes for their new venture.

Rossendale Cafe and Restaurant
SOLD: Rossendale Cafe and Restaurant in Halswell.

''For us, the central city is just not ready yet . . . and it's not the best option for us.''

Middleton fought the acquisition of the Latimer Sq building that housed his business but it was sold to the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) as part of the eastern frame.

He had hoped the CCDU would make a concession to allow the popular pizzeria and bar to stay but there was ''no room for negotiation''.

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After giving up the fight last year the couple started looking for other central city sites to reopen the business.

''We got pretty close in a couple of instances . . . but it just wasn't right for us.''

They were told about the sale of Rossendale by a family member and bought it ''on impulse''.

''We love it and we seriously can't wait.''

The couple will take over next month and the business will close for major renovations for about five months.

Middleton felt the central city was still too risky for new businesses and losing ''our baby'' had been heartbreaking.

''But you've got to be positive and move on...this decision is right for us as business owners and as a family.

''We can't wait.''

The Middletons will take over the cafe and restaurant, not the vineyard and winery.

The building that housed The Bicycle Thief, on the eastern edge of the frame, is currently being demolished.

The Press