New Gusto Restaurant in Manchester City Centre
The boss of restaurant chain Gusto hopes its new Manchester venue will provide stiff competition for the city's other popular Italians.
Gusto has been spun out of the Living Ventures group, which owns the likes of Manchester House, Australasia and Grill On The Alley, with plans to open more than 15 branches across the UK in the coming years. Living Ventures supremo Tim Bacon is chairman of the company, while co-founder Jeremy Roberts is a non-executive director.
The first of those 15 branches will be on Jackson's Row, off Deansgate, and is set to open its doors in early December.
Sue Crimes is managing director of Gusto, which already has sites in Alderley Edge, Didsbury, Cheadle Hume and Knutsford, and gave CityLife a taste of what to expect from the restaurant.
She revealed there will be a high-end specials menu and wine list unique to Manchester, to cater for celebrities and big-spending business bosses likely to be attracted to the venue.
Dishes being proposed include wood roast lobster with garlic butter; fillet of Angus beef, Valpolicella and balsamic onions; cutlet of veal ‘viennoise'; roast halibut with crispy artichoke and grilled langoustine, garlic and Pernod butter.
But Sue also wants to continue to appeal to families, with child-friendly favourites like make-your-own pizza remaining on the a la carte menu.
She added: "We will have the standard a la carte menu that is in all of our branches, but there'll be an additional menu with high-end specials and in Manchester only, we will have a fine wine list. There are going to be about 20 wines on that which are selected for the restaurant.
"The idea is if you've got a celebrity or corporate customer who wants a high-end experience and to order a lobster dish for £40 or so and a £100 bottle of burgundy or £70 bottle of Cloudy Bay, they can.
"Or, if you want to come in as a mum with the kids during half-term and have a pizza and a glass of coke, you can, and that's the diversity of Gusto."
Sue, who started her career in the restaurant trade working at Via Vita, in Chester, is looking forward to taking on Manchester's other Italian restaurants when Gusto opens. In terms of decor, she says those familiar with Gusto's suburban sites can expect something different from the new venture. Sue said: "We're going for more of a grand cafe style, which will be more elegant and sophisticated.
"There will be lots of marble and tan leather and a lot more grown-up and opulent than the suburban ones, which are more cosy." She added: "I think we can safely compete against what is out there. The city has San Carlo and Rosso, which are both busy all the time, then the likes of Jamie's, which is a slightly different offer, but where else is there that's a big Italian in Manchester?
"So, with that in mind, I think there is 100 per cent room for us."
GUSTO ~ Restaurant and Bar: Italian for taste and enjoyment
Inspired by the elegant charm of a classic Italian ristorante with a contemporary buzz and a modern, stylish interior, GUSTO brings the true "taste and enjoyment" of Italy to our guests.
GUSTO - it's all a matter of taste!