Eagerly-anticipated restaurants Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito may not open in Barnstaple after all.

An artist's impression of Anchorwood Bank.An artist's impression of Anchorwood Bank.

The Restaurant Group, the owner of the two chains, has made its two units at Anchorwood Bank available to let, a move which suggests it has moved away from opening the two restaurants in the town.

Property company Montagu Evans is marketing the two 4,000sq ft units to be sub-let for £112,000 per year.

American-Italian restaurant Frankie and Benny’s and Mexican restaurant Chiquito were confirmed for the retail park in 2016 as two flagship names heading for the developing site.

But The Restaurant Group has struggled since then. It posted a £22.5 million loss in 2016, prompting the closure of under-performing sites and a rejigging of menus.

The empty restaurant units at Anchorwood Bank. Picture: Matt SmartThe empty restaurant units at Anchorwood Bank. Picture: Matt Smart

The restaurant and shop units at Anchorwood Bank were completed last summer, with retailers Next, The Food Warehouse and DFS opening in July and August. Tapi Carpets followed at the end of 2018.

All three of the restaurant units have been empty since completion. Developer Wessex Investors said it is in negotiations regarding the third dining space.