Yorkshire’s best gastropub, The Hovingham Inn, will close as restaurateurs Richard and Lindsey Johns confirm ‘unviable conditions’ and lease issues

Today the Johns, who ran several different restaurants across Yorkshire before arriving at The Hovingham in 2019, confirmed they would be leaving in the spring.

The couple said a lease dispute led to their departure in a statement posted on Twitter.

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“Due to unsustainable conditions beyond our control, we have made the difficult decision not to renew our lease. To that end, we will be leaving The Hovingham Inn. We expect this to be in late spring of this year.

The Hovingham Inn in the North York Moors

“We are now looking to realize possible future opportunities, with a very open mind. At this stage, please contact us if our skills or experience appeal to you.

“Despite our best efforts to continue to build on our successes, we had no choice but to leave. We have done our utmost to stay and do not deserve such treatment. Always open and commercial. Thank you for your support .”

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Chef Profile – Richard Johns of the Hovingham Inn

The couple have worked in the restaurant business since 2004 and have earned numerous listings in top food guides including Michelin, Harden’s, Good Food and Estrella Damm Best Gastropubs.

Richard and Lindsey Johns during the Rascills era

They ran Artisan in Hessle, near Hull, until 2013 when they moved to the Falcon Inn in Withernwick and secured Holderness its first-ever entry into the major food guides. Their next venture was a three-year stay at Rascills in Raskelf, but they made the decision to end their lease in 2019, citing difficulties in generating profits due to the village’s location outside the main tourist trial.

The Hovingham Inn was previously called The Malt Shovel and underwent a complete refurbishment when Richard and Lindsey arrived.

They went on to earn a Michelin Guide listing, entry into the Estrella Damm 100 Best Gastro Pubs list, and recognition from The Times.

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