Martin Wishart's Honours Brasserie in Edinburgh is to be replaced after more than a decade by a new restaurant concept called Rico's, overseen by the Rocca Group.
Stefano Pieraccini (pictured, right), owner of the Rocca Group, which also includes the Broughton bar on Edinburgh's Broughton Street and the Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews, has taken on the North Castle Street venue and plans to relaunch it in July.
Wishart (pictured, left) said: "Sadly, during the pandemic I made the unavoidable decision to permanently close the Honours Brasserie. It is now time for the next chapter to unfold at North Castle Street.
"It's great to see a young and ambitious restauranteur coming through, especially following a really challenging period for the industry over the last year.
"I would like to take this opportunity to wish Stefano all the very best with his new venture."
The new 56-cover restaurant and 20-cover bar will be named after Pieraccini's grandfather Enrico. It will serve Italian dishes made with Scottish ingredients, including fresh pasta made on site daily. Scottish seafood and shellfish will be sourced from David Lowrie Fish Merchants, while Italian wines will be supplied by Antinori.
Pieraccini confirmed he hopes to grow his restaurant collection across Scotland and the north of England over the next five years.
He said: "Despite all of the challenges of the last year, we're always looking for opportunities grow and develop the Rocca Group further. When the chance arose to take on the space, I knew I had to grab it with both hands.
"I have no doubt that many will be sad to see the Honours go after 10 years on North Castle Street. Martin and I have a good relationship and he has been somewhat of an inspiration to me in my career to date.
"We like to think of this as an exciting opportunity to bring something really different to Edinburgh city centre. The venue itself will be stylish, desirable and have a great atmosphere, but I also want it to be somewhere guests know they will get excellent, authentic Italian dishes and warm hospitality."