The owners of Italian restaurant San Carlo are opening a new dining venture in Birmingham as part of wider plans to invest £2.5 million in the city.
The family-owned business, which has gone on to achieve global success since opening in Birmingham 19 years ago, has taken on the property adjacent to its Temple Street restaurant and will create a Venetian tapas bar called Fumo next year.
Marcelo Di Stefano, whose father Carlo set up the restaurant in 1992, said the new venue would complement the existing restaurant and boost the city’s nightlife scene.
The latest investment comes amid a period of expansion for the firm, which opened a new restaurant in Beirut earlier this month and is set to open in Thailand next year.
Mr Di Stefano said: “We are redeveloping the original San Carlo and the new site, on the corner next door, we are redeveloping into a new bar-restaurant.
“It is going to be a new concept for Birmingham. The main feature will be the bar, which we hope will have a late licence. It is going to have music on on Fridays and Saturdays and in the week the food will be tapas, along the lines of our Cicchetti brand.
“It is so different to what we are already doing that we thing they will go well together.
“There will be fantastic innovative cocktails and a lot of stuff that Birmingham hasn’t seen before.”
Fumo will open its doors at the former Bodyclinic premises on Waterloo Street, in Birmingham, early April 2012, with the refurbishment of San Carlo expected to be completed by March.
San Carlo has seen revenue grow in the past year on the back of growing demand for its franchises.
Its Signor Sassi brand and Cicchetti franchise have expanded into Europe and the Middle East and Mr Di Stefano said the company was expecting sales growth in all three franchises over the next 18 months.
However, he said the company has not forgotten its roots, and plans for Fumo are evidence of reinvesting in the firm’s home city.
He said: “Birmingham has been really good to us and we have been doing fantastically well over the last few years, with new openings and growing considerably.