Sneak preview inside new £1.3m Gusto Italian Restaurant on Lloyd Street, Manchester
Bosses have lavished £1.3m on the sophisticated new Gusto Italian restaurant which has a VIP launch on Thursday and opens to the public on Friday
It has been a lavish transformation inside a landmark city centre building to create Manchester's first Gusto Italian restaurant - which opens to the public on Friday.
The venue, inside the Grade II listed Elliot House on Lloyd Street, is completely unrecognisable from its former Olive Press incarnation.
Bosses have spent £1.3m transforming the site into a sophisticated new bar and restaurant, inspired by the traditional grand cafes of Europe with decadent fixtures and fittings including marble surfaces, wooden floors, leather booths and stylish globe lighting.
It will become the flagship venue for the Gusto brand which currently has ten restaurants including in Alderley Edge, Cheadle, Didsbury and Knutsford.
And bosses are aiming to take a slice of the higher-end Italian market in Manchester currently dominated by celebhaunt venues San Carlo and Rosso.
With that in mind, they are introducing a new menu of specials, including whole lobster thermidor and a six bone rack of lamb, alongside its traditional mix of Italian pizza and pasta classics, while there will be an extensive cocktails and fine wine list, served from the huge central bar at the heart of the venue.
Hottest ticket in town this week is for the Gusto VIP launch bash on Thursday night, where acclaimed Manchester artist Michael Browne will also be painting a huge mural honouring Manchester and its icons, which will hang on the far wall of the restaurant when complete.
Gusto Managing Director Sue Crimes is excited for the public to finally see all the work that has been done to transform the vast 8,000 square foot space just off Deansgate.
Sue says: "It has been a very exciting time for myself and the Gusto team and the Manchester restaurant will set the standard for the Gusto brand going forward.
"It's been a huge project here because we've basically gutted the building and started from scratch with a whole new shell.
"We've been able to create something that is really in keeping with the history of the building, while becoming a stylish and sophisticated new restaurant for Manchester."
The venue also boasts a display kitchen at the rear, and a private dining room that can seat up to 12 people.
The Manchester Gusto has been backed by Palatine Private Equity after a management buyout earlier this year as part of plans to roll-out an expansion plan across the UK with similar Gusto eateries.
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!