A CHESTER restaurant owner was found hanged at the lavish business he spent a fortune setting up less than two years ago.
The death of Hassaon Sharter, 54, more commonly known as Sam, has sent shock waves through the city’s food and drink industry.
He was found hanged at about 11.30pm last Thursday in the restaurant he owned and lived in at The Barn in Bridge Trafford.
Mr Sharter also owned Frodsham’s Netherton Hall until June 2008, before later becoming a tenant at the site.
He started his working life as an engineer before, as a regular customer to the Parkgate Hotel, Parkgate nearly 30 years ago, he was asked to manage the hotel, bar and restaurant.
Since then, Mr Sharter had a successful 10-year stint as owner of Netherton Hall, before he bought the Sandfield farm premises in Bridge Trafford in 2006.
He converted the former 400-year-old dairy farm site into a restaurant, and The Barn was opened in August 2008.
The restaurant won the best newcomer award in the 2009 Chester Food and Drink Festival.
Love Frodsham chairman Barrie Davidson paid tribute to the experienced restaurateur.
He said of his death: “It was a big surprise to us.
“We were regulars at the Netherton from the late 90s when Sam took over, he was a vary caring man and very attentive.
“He transformed the place, changed it completely to get it as he wanted, a high class restaurant. He wanted to make sure the restaurant was the best.
“Then he went to The Barn, converting the building and doing the same there.
“From the people I have spoken to, and who know him, they are completely surprised because he was a very successful business man.
“He always kept himself to himself and his family.
“He kept his personal life and business apart very shrewdly so we didn’t see much of him.”
TV presenter Lucy Meacock paid tribute to Mr Sharter. She said: “I was so sad to hear about Sam. He always gave us such an incredibly warm welcome at The Barn.
“This has come as a total shock. We were only there a couple of weeks ago and had a lovely time with him.
“I am sure he will be very sadly missed and my thoughts are with his family at a terribly sad time.”
A spokesperson for Cheshire Constabulary said there were no suspicious circumstances regarding Mr Sharter’s death and an inquest has been opened.
Mr Sharter leaves his wife Sharon and son Joshua.