Fine-dining Italian-style restaurant Accuiga, on London's High Street Kensington, is to close ahead of a site move to east London in March.
Chef-owner Guglielmo Arnulfo confirmed to The Caterer today that the new deal is expected to be finalised by January, with the new site set to open officially by late March 2016. The family-run venue is expected to have more than 100 covers, and will be split across two storeys with a food-led trattoria section, a wine-led osteria and a simple wine bar. All funding will come from the business itself initially, but the chef is currently in discussion with potential investors, he said.
He added that he felt that his style of Italian cuisine had not quite worked in Kensington, and he had discovered that the area didn't "fit" his vision for the restaurant.
The original 70-seat Accuiga, which first opened in summer 2013, will close on 24 December, before moving to an as-yet-undisclosed new location in east London in March next year.
Arnulfo admitted that he was inspired by the classic Italian menus from chefs such as Giorgio Locatelli and Francesco Mazzei, and added: "I'm looking to serve customers Italian food they don't even know that they want yet, or food they only know from travelling to Italy on holiday. I think I understand what Londoners are looking for in an Italian restaurant. I'm confident that it will be what we would really like to serve."
Arnulfo was also head chef-owner at London Smithfield wine bar and Italian kitchen Enoteca Rabezzana, which opened in January this year, but he left three months ago after an amicable difference of opinion with investors over the direction of the site's menu. He said that he would like to expand Accuiga eventually, but would concentrate on the new site for the foreseeable future.
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