A TAPAS bar reopened today in memory of its owner, who died suddenly on Wednesday.

The Old Yard Tapas Bar in Bondgate, Darlington, has been shut since the body of award-winning restaurateur Peter Turnbull was found, and floral tributes have been left outside.

But staff today decided that Mr Turnbull, who spent nearly 20 years building up the business, would not have wanted the bar and restaurant to remain closed.

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General manager James Buxton said: "After a long and positive meeting with staff, and discussions with Peter’s wife, Katrina, we’ve decided to reopen the Tapas Bar in his memory.

"We are sure this is what he would have wanted – he wouldn’t have wanted the place to be shut up as he put his heart and soul into it since opening it in 1995.

"We’d like to thank everyone who left flowers, cards, messages and tributes after they heard the terrible news. It’s been quite overwhelming. We’ve been really touched by the response, and it just goes to show how important Peter and the restaurant were to people."

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Turnbull's death.