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Bibis Italian restaurant has been booming since 1974

By BigHospitality Writer , 28-Feb-2007

What is it? A Leeds-institution, this Italian has seen three new looks and homes since 1974. Who owns it? Oliver Teodorani set up the original Bibis in Mill Hill in partnership with Dino Aristotelous. He opened a second Bibis in York in 1979 (sold in .

What is it?

A Leeds-institution, this Italian has seen three new looks and homes since 1974.

Who owns it?

Oliver Teodorani set up the original Bibis in Mill Hill in partnership with Dino Aristotelous. He opened a second Bibis in York in 1979 (sold in 1988), before ending the partnership with Aristotelous in 1993. The restaurant then enjoyed 16 years in a site twice the size of the original on Greek Street before doubling in size again, to 300 covers, on Criterion Place near Leeds Central in 2004. Bibis now regularly packs in 4,000 customers a week.

Will it move again?

"Never say never,"says General Manager, Angelo Plazzi. "We're certainly always looking to open another place under the Bibis brand."

What's it like?

Design-wise, Bibis has been a 1970s trattoria with Chianti flasks, has glammed up with marble statues to rock an ancient Rome look, and has finally come into its own thanks to a £3.7m Art Deco fit-out by Tessa Kennedy (of the Rivoli bar at the Ritz fame). It remains high camp with statuettes, chandeliers, potted palms and waiters in dickie-bows.

On the menu?

Chef Piero Vinci, who started as a commis 18 years ago, reviews the menu every six months, but some perennials won't go away, including Ravioli ‘Villa Rosa' (Scampi ravioli with tiger prawns and creamy lobster sauce); Tournedo di Manzo alla ‘Bibis' (Angus Fillet Tournedo glazed with Dolcelatte Cheese, Parma Ham and Red Wine Reduction); Anatra al Miele e Mandorle (Breckland Free Range Half Roast Duckling glazed with Millefiori Honey and Almonds).

Secret of its success?

"A good backbone of staff – front of house and in the kitchen," says Plazzi. Bibis employs 120 staff, compared with 50 before.

Criterion, Criterion Place, off Sovereign Street, Leeds LS1 4AG 0113 430905 bibisrestaurant.com

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