Gusto Italian to open in Oxford and London

12 July 2022 by
Gusto Italian to open in Oxford and London

Casual dining restaurant group Gusto Italian is set to open a 14th site in Oxford by the end of the year and has announced plans to expand to 16 in total, including its first ever London location next year.

The group said the announcement represented "a significant step" in its two-year growth strategy, with further plans to make "substantial upgrades" to its core estate over this period as part of a self-funded £2m CAPEX programme.

The new Gusto Italian restaurant and bar in Oxford will open in the Mitre hotel building on Oxford High Street. Vacant since 2018, when Beefeater ceased trading at the site, the Grade II-listed building dates to 1630 and Gusto plans to restore the venue.

Gusto Italian chief executive Matt Snell said: "We have wanted to secure a site in Oxford for some time and the Mitre hotel topped our list of potential locations so we are thrilled to be announcing this opening. The Mitre hotel has long been an Oxford landmark and it is an honour to become custodians of this site and restore this historic building to its former glory. By preserving the listed features, while introducing design elements that have made Gusto Italian so popular, we're confident we will deliver a stunning building that combines tradition and modernity, that the people of Oxford will be proud to call their own."

The 10,000 square foot restaurant and bar is planned to have 150 covers on the ground floor, and a 100-cover function room on the first floor.

Gusto Italian's flagship Nottingham restaurant opened in December 2021. As with Nottingham and newly refurbished sites including Cookridge in Leeds, and Liverpool, the Oxford location will feature three new design concepts: ‘pizza experience', ‘theatre kitchen', and ‘dine under the olive trees'.

Snell added: "Each new opening represents the culmination of months of market mapping research and consumer insight data analysis. We're confident the new Oxford High Street site will be a high-performing addition to our growing estate and help us to build on our already strong financial footing."

Gusto recently announced plans to grow its estate and expand further south. The group was founded in Cheshire in 2005 by Jeremy Roberts and the late Tim Bacon from Living Ventures Group, and in 2014 gained private equity backing from Palatine. The group now has 13 restaurants across the UK and more than 587 team members.

The company underwent a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2020 following the impact of Covid restrictions on the business.

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