Wakefield's legendary Pie Shop snapped up by local couple
Wakefield's famous Pie Shop is to continue serving after being snapped up by a local couple, following a "phenomenal" level of interest.
Hundreds of regulars at the legendary late-night city-centre takeaway feared the business could be lost when previous owner Karen Eccleston announced in March that she was selling up.
There was no shortage of interest, with desperate customers even suggesting pooling their cash to snap up the lucrative business.
However, new owner, Matt Birch from Sandal, along with his wife Charlotte, officially took over yesterday, June 10, and is promising it will be business as usual.
Matt, 47, said: "My wife and I have had the desire to run our own business for a long time but we've been looking for the right kind of business that we could get passionate about.
"I have been going to the Pie Shop for 15 years so I know all about it.
"And being customers of the shop, we decided it couldn't get any better than this."
Matt, who has worked in the corporate world for 25 years, said that a major health scare two years ago made re-evaluate his life.
"In 2019 I was found to have a brain tumour and had to go through surgery," he said.
"Something such as serious as this makes you think what you really want out of life."
Stuart Moorhouse, director of Ernest Wilson, the business agent which marketed the shop, said: "This is an iconic business that is very well known to the late-night revellers of Wakefield
"Since Ernest Wilson was instructed to market the business for sale, the interest from potential purchasers has been phenomenal with many past and present customers interested due to its quintessential reputation being one of Wakefield's landmark businesses.
"No doubt Matt will continue to serve the long standing customers in the same unique way that the current owners have for the last 14 years and we wish Matt and his team all the best for the future.”
The Pie Shop off Westgate has become the first choice for food after a night out in Wakefield over the past 14 years.
Customers often leave the bars and clubs late at night and form queues outside the Cheapside shop to sink their teeth into the different pies, peas and chips on offer.
Matt says it will be the same staff, same ingredients and same recipes for the food that has made it a must-visit shop.
But while the business will carry on, the new start has been tinged with sadness after manager and longest-serving worker, Sharon Devonport, recently passed away.
Familiar to all the regular customers, Matt said it was "really sad news" and that she was "key member" of the shop's staff that helped to carve out its reputation.
The shop was closed for the weekend recently out of respect.
The opening hours will be Thursday 11.30am to 2pm, and Friday's 11,30am to 2pm, then reopen again at 7pm and stay open until 3am.
Saturdays will be 7pm to 3am.
In addition, the Pie Shop will be tasking over the kitchen at The Star pub in Sandal to serve its food, from 4pm to 8pm on Mondays.