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The beautiful sandstone bank, which first opened its doors in 1838, has been closed since 2018.


Rob’s vision is to carefully bring the Grade II listed building back to life. The menu would be designed to showcase the local area’s unique people and produce. The interior would celebrate the building’s heritage and location, with emphasis on features like its high ceilings, huge windows, and original cornices.


The aim is to submit planning applications by 17 May 2024. On Saturday 4 May and Monday 6 May, Rob and his operations director, Stephen Atkinson, will be meeting local residents at the building to view and discuss the plans. Residents can drop in at any time between 10am-4pm.


The proposed restaurant doesn’t currently have a name, so Rob will be inviting suggestions from the public. He is particularly interested in names that reflect the former bank’s beauty, history, and setting. 


He is also keen to hear from locals that might be looking to start or develop their careers in hospitality, with the restaurant set to create 60 new jobs.


“I grew up in Bakewell so reviving the bank, and turning it into a place that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, would feel like coming home,” explains Rob. “It also feels right to be rescuing such an iconic building, and investing in the local economy. It’s a principle that drives all of my business decisions.”


Rob believes that the new restaurant would be a valuable addition to the Bakewell culinary scene.


“My hospitality career started in Bakewell when I was 14 years old, working at my family’s restaurant, Aitch’s Wine Bar and Bistro,” he says. “Since that was sold 20 years ago, many people have said that there has been a gap. We have plenty of great cafes and traditional pubs but there is definitely room for a spacious, premium restaurant offering exceptional locally inspired dishes.”


As with the other venues owned by Rob’s independent hospitality company, Longbow Bars & Restaurants, the menu would be designed by Raymond Blanc trained executive chef, Adrian Gagea.


It would operate seven days per week, serving breakfast, lunch (including Sunday lunch) and a brasserie style dinner menu. Afternoon tea would also be available.


The planning application is being made in partnership with Coverland UK, landlord of The Maynard in Grindleford and The George in Hathersage. Rob is also working alongside Concorde BGW group who have designed and been responsible for the refurbishment of all other Longbow sites.


Rob founded Longbow Bars & Restaurants shortly before the pandemic hit, selling his house to fund his first venue, The Maynard in Hope Valley. He had a rocky start, which saw him on the brink of bankruptcy, due to the nationwide lockdowns, but he has quickly established himself as a rising star in the Peak District hotel, pub and restaurant industry.


Last month, Rob opened the doors to The Ashford Arms, a historic high-end pub with rooms in nearby Ashford-in-the-Water. It joined The Maynard, which has won numerous awards as a wedding venue, restaurant, and hotel, and The George, an award-winning historic bar, restaurant and hotel in Hathersage, which was once frequented by Charlotte Brontë.


To be kept up to date on Rob’s plans for the former bank, please visit or email to register for email updates.


You can also watch Rob’s video announcement here:


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