One of Lincoln's quirkiest restaurants needs a new “helmsman” - after its captain decided to sail off into retirement.

Banks Long & Co is trawling the market to find a buyer for The Barge on the city's Brayford waterfront, after its owner Catherine Kirk-Keverne decided to put the floating eaterie on the market. Catherine's move has created a rare opportunity for an entrepreneur eager to take the plunge and splash out on a unique, fully kitted-out bar/restaurant, which is anchored on a pitch leased from The Brayford Trust.

“Captain Catherine” as she is affectionately known,  has been supported by her three children and wonderful crew, along with other family, friends and loyal customers, but,  reluctantly decided to close The Barge after the Christmas rush, due to her ongoing health issues.  “Deciding to let The Barge go has been a heart-wrenching decision.  I have owned it for more than 20 years, built-up a loyal following of regulars and witnessed massive changes along the city's popular Waterfront,” said Catherine. “My children have been encouraging me to retire for the last few years, but the Barge has been a huge part of my life.  However,  after struggling with my health over the past few months, I decided I needed to take time for myself. “Over the past few years, I have survived cancer, a fire on The Barge, the sad loss of a long-standing chef last year, and now I also need to look after my heart.”

Catherine, a leading figure in the hospitality industry for 48 years, has loved her time at The Barge.  In the early days she owned The North Parade Hotel in Skegness, then the resort's Quorn Hotel, followed by The Elms Hotel in Retford (all with ex-husband Peter). She went on to manage the former Original Italian Flying Pizza in Lincoln, followed by the Pizza in the Park at Wollaton Park, Nottingham; then owned Latino's in Lincoln High Street and part-owned the former Stadz Cafe at the top of the High Street.

Her daughter Zona Keverne-Gamble said: “Over the last five months I have supported Mum as much as possible in helping run The Barge, but now I need to concentrate on my own travel agency business, which is growing. “I know closing The Barge has been difficult for her, but I feel that she needed to detach herself from the responsibility involved and enjoy her retirement.”

Banks Long & Co Director James Butcher said: “We are  delighted to be offering this superb bar/restaurant opportunity. It offers someone a rare chance to acquire a long-established and well-known venue based in a prime location on Lincoln's Leisure Circuit. “The Barge features a fully-fitted restaurant, which extends to about 1,608 sq ft.  It is licensed for 170 diners, which includes the outside seating areas.

Brayford Wharf North has been, and continues to be, the focus for massive investment. Other nearby leisure and hospitality businesses include the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, Prezzo, Chimichangas, and Wagamama,” said Mr Butcher.

The £20 million One The Brayford  development is also shaping-up for completion later this year.

For further information, please contact James Butcher on 01522 544515.