Edinburgh restaurateur Tony Crolla is set to open a "contemporary" £3m fish and chip restaurant in a former church.
The restaurant will span 11,000 sq ft set across three floors of St John's church in Victoria Street when it opens in November. The building previously housed a bookmaker, a Byzantium market and Khushi's Indian restaurant, but has lain empty since a large fire in 2008.
The restaurant will seat 270 covers and offer an affordable menu with a "contemporary" take on traditional British ‘chippy' dishes, including fish burgers, ‘cod dogs', pies, haggis and white pudding suppers.
Desserts will include deep-fried Mars bars with ice cream, sticky toffee pudding and apple crumble pie.
The new site will be operated under Crolla's Vittoria Group and create more than 50 jobs. It will feature beach-hut style booths and nautical interiors with rope, anchors and wall-hung oars. The venue will also have two bars, serving Scottish spirits and gins as well as beach-themed cocktails, beers and ciders.
Crolla said: "We have had a vision for many years about opening ‘the' fish and chip restaurant destination in the heart of Edinburgh city centre for many years. This concept will be fun, relaxed and affordable. Our focus as ever with our restaurants is fresh quality food available for all."
Michael Dunn of MD Solutions has overseen the design alongside contractor Pride Commercial Interiors. Dunn said: "The client's vision, the space and market audience being the main influences to breathe life, vibrancy and character into what will be the flagship unit of the Vittoria Group. The offering will be unintimidating, welcoming and warm, yet still airy and uplifting."
Crolla's father, Alberto Crolla Sr, opened the family's first restaurant, Vittoria on Leith Walk, in 1970. The company now employs more than 250 staff across its restaurant and delivery sites, including Vittoria on the Walk, Vittoria on the Bridge, Taste of Italy, La Favorita and fine dining restaurant Divino Enoteca.
Earlier this year Tony Crolla was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, one of the highest civilian honours in Italy for his services to hospitality.