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Sadness as popular Caribbean restaurant in Coventry with 'brilliant atmosphere' up for sale

Jul 07, 2023

Leave It to Esmie, located in Fargo Village, is on the market

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An authentic Caribbean restaurant located in Coventry city centre is up for sale in a hammer blow to the city. Leave It to Esmie, based in the cultural quarter of Fargo Village, is up for sale due to ill health.

The Caribbean restaurant, set up in 2017, was inspired by owner Esmie Stewart's family heritage. It aimed to bring the 'essence and flavours of the Caribbean Islands to the heart of Coventry', its website states, from grilled meats to rice and wraps, and its sale will be greeted with sadness by its many fans.

Owner, mum Esmie, had warned late last year that the venue could shut - even though it was her dream job. She told the BBC she had been battling breast cancer and sepsis, and said she was struggling to get staff amid a reported shortage of foreign workers since Brexit.

Read more: Popular Vietnamese restaurant in Coventry with rave reviews is up for sale

Saying she needed more experienced staff, she said: "I have many nights of crying and crying and crying because at the end of the day, the bills don't change and they're getting higher so when we're not open to our capacity, it's going to affect me and my family life," she said.

People have been drawn to the venue for years for its cuisine. The website state: "Our recipes are authentic, they stay close to our roots, and taste just like your Granny, Momma or Tantie used to make! Esmie’s is all about making you feel special, so for those of you dreaming of a Caribbean holiday, we bring the taste of the Islands to a table or a takeaway just for you."

The restaurant has a Traveller's Choice 2022 badge on Tripadvisor, and at present has 182 reviews, with 134 rated excellent because of the 'great Caribbean flavours', 'fantastic staff' and 'brilliant atmosphere', the reviewing website states.

The licensed restaurant is now on the market for £49,950 with furniture and fixtures included within the price and is listed on Leave It to Esmie has been running for six years, operating from Thursday to Saturday from 4pm to 9pm and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm.

The listing says that the menu offers 'a fine range of authentic Caribbean street food' alongside a vegan menu which can be enjoyed with a 'full range of alcoholic and soft drinks' menu. The premises, it goes on to say, has been kept in 'good order' and the equipment along with fittings and fixtures, all bought and paid for, are included.

The restaurant only trades four days a week, so there is 'plenty of potential' for the new buyer by 'extending upon the current opening times', the listing adds. It is an opportunity to purchase an established business and 'possibly change the cuisine subject to the landlord's approval' - but it has to be a 'cuisine that's not already in the area'.

Esmie's enjoys a strong reputation within the local community and beyond, and has a high level of regular repeat and trade. On-site, there is a variety of over 40 complimentary independent retailers, hence why the location is seen as 'unique' and 'oozes a rich cultural heritage'.

Here is what is included on the premises:

Ground floor:

First Floor:


Tables and chairs for 16 covers

Bin area and vendors parking for 1

For the year ending 2022, the turnover was £184,950 with a GP of £139,539. The lease term is 10 years, with 3 and a half years remaining. The annual rent is £17,500 and the service charge is £3,300 plus VAT per annum, with zero business rates. Early viewing is highly recommended as the listing states 'it is not to be missed'.

Location: 13a Fargo Village, Far Gosford St, Coventry CV1 5ED

For more information about the restaurant, visit

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