D. Byrne & Co, Clitheroe, Lancashire restaurant review

D. Byrne and; Co., Victoria Buildings, 12 King Street, Clitheroe.<br/>01200 423152.

If part of the pleasure you derive from a fine wine is in its choosing then you may find a visit to Clitheroe's multi award-winning wine and spirit merchants, D. Byrne & Co., enough to make you giddy without so much as sniffing a cork. Bottle-stocked shelves tower from floor to ceiling in much of the shop, while in other parts, a warren of cellars, each representing a different country, unfurl before you to stretch the store's floor space under the neighbouring businesses.Byrne's entry in the Which Wine Guide reads: 'First time visitors always find it a shock to see such a huge, high quality range of wines displayed and sold in such an unpretentious manner. A further shock is the price tags, which you'd be forgiven for thinking were exclusive of VAT.'Byrne's is very much a family business. It was founded by Denis Byrne, who was born in Manchester in 1871 to an Irish father surgeon and a Northern mother, who came from a family of corn dealers and cotton manufacturers.In his father's will, Denis received a sum of money with which he bought a share in the business of Clitheroe merchant, Mr Thistlethwaite. Denis bought out Mr Thistlethwaite and by 1890 and until after the First World War, he supplied most of the townspeople and local farmers with groceries, animal feeds and a few wines and spirits, regularly crossing the fells by horse and cart.The shop is now in the hands of his great-grandsons, Andrew, Philip and Tim Byrne. Another eight family members are also involved in its running. Denis would still feel at home though as the shop has the same bare scrubbed floor boards as in his day, the same huge oak counters and all its original fixtures and fittings, including the same brass, hand-wound till.Among the accolades bestowed on Byrne's are to be twice voted the country's best independent wine merchant by Which Magazine, which also had it as its northern wine merchant of the year every year from 1996 to 2004. It has been Wine Magazine's northern wine merchant of the year 10 times.

D. Byrne & Co., Victoria Buildings, 12 King Street, Clitheroe.

Byrne's is open from 8-30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and until 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Saturday: 8- 6p.m. D. Byrne & Co., Victoria Buildings, 12 King Street, Clitheroe. 01200 423152.

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