North-eastern group El Coto Restaurants has bought Ricardo's restaurant in Durham city centre off a guide price of £600,000.
The 94-seat restaurant at 17 Hallgart Streeth is the fifth venue for the group (which serves traditional Spanish cuisine, bocaddillo and tapas) and joins venues in Newcastle and Darlington.
The group, owned by Tony and Claire Elwell and Jo Bean, also plans to expand into York and Leeds.
The Newcastle office of Christie + Co sold the freehold on behalf of Ronnie and Christine Guarnaccio.
By Angela Frewin