EATING out has become one of our most popular pastimes and Bolton is lucky to have so many great establishments for us to enjoy.

But going for a bite to eat is nothing new as this look back into our archives reveals.

These photographs are sure to bring back memories for many readers who spent time at The Golden Egg or wanted something a little more exotic such as an Italian at Tiggi’s or a Chinese at the China Garden.

The decoration reflects the era and heavily patterned carpets certainly appeared to be the ‘in thing’ in the Eighties. Heavy oak furniture and dark beams were clearly favoured at certain establishments - and it’s a look which a number of pubs and restaurants are still very keen on today.

When the new Virgin Cinema opened at the Valley Centertainment development off Blackburn Road in 1998, the cafe area was very much of the video age - all shiny chrome and faux leather seating.

Healthy eating is very much on everyone’s minds these days with many pubs and cafés offering a wide range of low calorie and healthy options. Back in 1983, the new Roundhouse Restaurant was particularly proud of one of its new innovations - the salad bar which took centre stage in the establishment.

Pictured with kitchen manager Bill Gerard and manager Peter Hislop were waitresses Eileen Morton and Edna Bidder.

The Roundhouse was the new name for another establishment featured on these pages - Henry’s. Back in 1980 the Formica topped tables and stainless steel teapots were the order of the day. Sadly there is no sign of any sauce containers shaped like tomatoes but it’s good to see vinegar bottle on all the tables.

In 1994 when the photograph of diners enjoying themselves at the Chapels Restaurant and Bistro on Lee Lane in Horwich was taken, the management were very proud of the fact that they took care of their customers by dividing the dining room into smoking and no-smoking areas. The smoking ban which came in in 2007 certainly changed all that.

The Amir restaurant on the Ladybridge estate was a firm favourite in the Nineties, being a former winner of the Bolton Evening News (as it was then) restaurant of the year title. The formally arranged coloured chairs and tables meant it was able to meet the demand of diners.

If you have any photographs of restaurant or cafes in Bolton in years gone by we’d love to feature them in Looking Back. Email them to