COUNCIL bosses will look for a new way forward after a former town centre restaurant and offices failed to sell at auction.
The former Gioia restaurant at 50-54 Church Street in Blackburn was due to go under the hammer at a Pugh Auctions sale in Salford earlier this week.
The building, previously occupied by Gioia at the ground floor with the first and second floors used as offices, had been listed for sale through Pugh Auctions at a guide price of £400,000.
But bids were not forthcoming and the building remains part of the council’s property portfolio.
A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said: “We will have a review of this property in the coming weeks before making any further formal decision in relation to the future.”
The council had been due to sell the building, which has council-owned offices above the former restaurant, at auction in October but decided to postpone the sale while an exhibition as part of the British Textile Biennial went ahead.
Gioia opened in Church Street in Blackburn in November 2017 in the former Rovers store.
The shop underwent a £100,000 investment and the Italian venture created 23 new jobs.
As well as a restaurant, Gioia had a quick-service deli counter, a wine bar and a play area.
It was one of many new restaurants to open in the town centre since the completion of the Cathedral Quarter development.
It followed hot on the heels of A Mano and Turtle Bay in Cathedral Square.
Hugo’s, East Z East and Frankie’s also all opened in the last two years.
But the business closed in May last year after struggling to attract enough custom.
Council chiefs had initially hoped a new entrepreneur can now take on the premises and make a success of a restaurant, bar or coffee shop there
In February, Blackburn with Darwen Council regained the lease of the vacant premises and put the restaurant up for letting with a prominent sign in the front window.
But no interest was forthcoming and a decision was taken to sell the building off.
The building was once home to the council's tourist information centre.