Villagers have been left surprised by the sudden closure of an award-winning pub.
The Red Lion, at Stathern, established a reputation as one of the finest places to eat in the county.
It had held a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand for many years and was the current holder of the ‘dining pub of the year’ for Leicestershire and Rutland in the latest Good Pub Guide.
But it is now closed for business and a notice has been posted on its website stating ‘The Red Lion Inn is now permanently closed’.
A spokesperson for Stathern Stores, in Main Street, said: “I believe it closed on Sunday and it is a real shame.
“It is a big loss for the village because it had a good reputation for food and drew a lot of people from outside Stathern.”
The news comes after a major refurbishment of the Red Lion Street pub had been planned when new owners Wayne and Karen Hammond took over almost a year ago.
It was previously run by the owners of the award-winning Olive Branch in Clipsham.
The Red Lion’s closure leaves The Plough Inn, in Main Street, as Stathern’s only operating pub.
Landlord Martin Wilson, who has run it for nine years, said: “I’m not sure why the Red Lion has closed.
“We are more of a locals pubs while that was a dining pub so we were very different.