AN award-winning Italian restaurant is launching a third venue in Leigh.

Alberto Halluni, owner of Il Padrino in Middlewich and Don Alberto in Holmes Chapel, is opening a new Italian restaurant and cafe in June.

With chef and business partner Salvatori Suad, the pair are investing almost £100,000 in The Loom retail park in Leigh, creating 15 new jobs.

The new restaurant is being developed in the former Frankie and Benny's unit which closed in 2019, and will offer more than 120 seats inside and outside, subject to Covid restrictions.

Don Alberto, hailed as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the north west, was named Restaurant of the Year 2020 by the magazine Cheshire Life.

Throughout the pandemic, staff at both restaurants donated food to NHS workers at Leighton Hospital and residential care homes.

The family business is looking forward to expanding its reputation in Greater Manchester.

Dad-of-three Alberto Halluni, who runs Il Padrino with wife Claire, said: “The Loom is a great mixed-use development and offers us the chance to establish a restaurant in an already very popular location.

“The building is a fantastic size and its outdoor space really sold it to us, particularly in the current climate, as it will hopefully enable us to continue trading through the ups and downs of Covid-19.

“The existing retail mix at The Loom also means we can realise the dream of opening a full Italian ristorante and café here, with a menu that will evolve throughout the day to meet the changing clientele.

“We hope to welcome early morning shoppers and parents with young children for coffee and cakes in the morning. At lunchtime we will offer a choice of quick bites and traditional Italian main meals and, in the evenings, we will deliver the full Italian experience that we have built our reputation on, warm hospitality, authentic dishes and an extensive wine list.”

Leigh Journal:

 Salvatori Suad and Alberto Halluni with their Restaurant of the Year 2020 award

A contemporary Italian-inspired fit out is under way on the 4,135 sq ft venue, with the work expected to be completed in the the coming weeks.

Leigh Journal:

Don Alberto at The Loom in Leigh

Mr Halluni added: “The size of this restaurant means we can offer a greater choice of speciality dishes and introduce some less well-known Italian delicacies to our guests. Popular favourites such as pizzas and fresh pastas will, of course, be on the menu, but we will also encourage visitors to try exciting Italian dishes that they may not have heard of.”

He said their home made desserts will also change daily, with something to suit every palette, from tiramisu to pistachio cheesecake.

Live entertainment is also planned for the new venue when Covid restrictions allow.