A Hampton restaurateur is looking forward to opening a second venue - bringing to an end a long search for the right location.
Riva, which had operated in the former Ristorante I Toscanini premises in Eye, Peterborough, since 2013, closed for good last week.
But the closure proved to be an opportunity too good to miss for Goretti Lobato, who has taken on the lease and plans to open her second Mattoni restaurant next month.
Goretti opened Mattoni in Hampton Vale about five years ago and business has grown steadily - to the point where she is disappointed to have to turn so many people away.
“The Hampton restaurant is quite small and it has just got so busy. We turn quite a lot of tables every night, but I get so many phone calls and I hate telling them we can’t fit them in.
“We have a lot of loyal regulars who tell their friends, who try us and tell their friends.
“ I just feel the time is right to offer them an alternative and had been looking for the right location for some time when I heard that the premises at Eye was available.
“It is a great opportunity to spread our wings” she added. “And hopefully we can open next month in time for Valentine’s day as we have had so many inquiries.”
Goretti says she will be taking one of her Hampton chefs to the new restaurant - Mattoni Eye - and will create 15 to 20 jobs with the venture.
Her team will now set about making the place “warm and cozy as possible”, she says.
“It has that rustic Italian feel about it, but we will freshen things up a little with new tables and chairs, and do something with the bar so it will look a little bit different.”
The menu won’t be as extensive as the Hampton restaurant, said Goretti.
“It will start small with daily specials and we will build on that from customer feedback,” she added.
Paolo Bianchi, who owns the building, and ran the Ristorante I Toscanini from 1995 to 2012, said: “I think they will do very well in the village and be made very welcome.
“The village needs a restaurant, they are a fantastic team at Mattoni and I wish them well.”