THE family behind one of Harrogate’s best known restaurants has bought its premises after almost 30 years of tenancy.

The Straker family has owned the William and Victoria restaurant and wine bar on Cold Bath Road since the 1980s and David Straker, who owns and runs the business with his wife, Johanna, joined the business in 1992 from Davys of London.

The couple began negotiations to buy the freehold in January to secure continuity within the business.

David said: “We were presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity and we knew we had to do everything we could to buy it to secure the future of the business.

“Consistency and continuity are vital in the hospitality sector but the decision to buy was personal as well as practical.

‘‘Having worked in London where restaurants see new faces every day, I appreciate the difference here where we know our customers and as a family with three young sons we’re very much part of the community.”

He said loyal local trade had protected the restaurant from the impact of a drop in conference footfall across the town.

“There are definitely fewer customers associated with conference centre events, but the vast majority of our trade comes from regular diners from Harrogate and the surrounding area, some of whom visit us several times a week.

‘‘The conference trade is a nice top up when it’s there, but thankfully it isn’t crucial to our survival.”

The purchase was handled by Claire Armer of Harrogate law firm Berwins.

She said the deal marked a significant landmark in the history of a successful local business.