Veteran restaurateur Giuliano Lotto, a former director of A-Z Restaurants, is to launch a new high end Italian restaurant in London this year in partnership with Peter and Arjun Waney, co-founders of Zuma and La Petit Maison.
The team, who have been working together on Il Baretto in Marylebone, have taken over the former site of a NatWest bank on North Audley Street, a stone's throw from Grosvenor Square.
They will relaunch it as Banca in September after an extensive conversion due to start in July. This will be overseen by interior designer David d'Almada whose previous projects have included Zafferano, L'Oranger and Il Baretto.
The 3,700sq ft, 120 capacity restaurant, which will comprise a main dining room with a theatre kitchen, a bar and private dining facilities, will be an "Italian version of La Petit Maison". "It will be an upmarket restaurant serving authentic Italian food to share," said Lotto.
Average spend will be around £45 at lunch and £60 a head at dinner. A head chef has yet to be appointed.
Lotto told Caterersearch.com he and the Waney brothers had been looking for a site for about four years. "I've been doing this job for about 19 years but this will be my biggest project to date so I'm really excited," he said.
High end leisure specialist David Rawlinson of Restaurant Property brokered the deal on behalf of Grosvenor Estate directly with Lotto and the Waneys.