The Blue Bicycle restaurant could continue trading as normal despite its owners being declared bankrupt, its landlord's solicitor claimed today.

Solicitor Robert Onyett said the Fossgate business could "trade out of its difficulties" with the support of customers, staff and suppliers.

Mr Onyett, who represents landlord Tony Stephenson, said he had been involved in negotiations to keep the business running.

He said: "So long as its doors are open, it has still got the chance to continue. My client is supportive of his tenant and The Blue Bicycle restaurant."

Yesterday, the Evening Press revealed that proprietor David Rose and his business partner, Sarah Brownbridge, had been declared insolvent. Their bankruptcy came after solicitors acting for the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise filed a petition at the High Court of Justice, in London. The news followed weeks of uncertainty after bailiffs briefly took control of the restaurant's riverside premises alleging non-payment of rent.

Ms Brownbridge said today that solicitors and accountants had been brought in to investigate her finances and the restaurant's accounting books.

She said she was "resigned" to the situation and no longer wished to be involved with the day-to-day running of the restaurant.

Two weeks ago the high-profile restaurant closed during a dispute over rent, but negotiations between landlord and tenant saw the business quickly reopen.

The Blue Bicycle and its sister caf and gift shop, the Blue Minelle, in Fossgate, continued trading as normal today. Mr Rose was unavailable for comment.

Updated: 15:39 Wednesday, April 23, 2003