Delicious Dining to open £1m tapas restaurant in Southampton

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Steve Hughes of Delicious Dining which will open its first tapas restaurant this year
Steve Hughes of Delicious Dining which will open its first tapas restaurant this year

Related tags: Restaurant

Hospitality group Delicious Dining has revealed plans to open its first tapas-style restaurant costing almost £1m. 

The independently-owned company, which described the project as its ‘largest to date’, exchanged contracts on the new venue on Friday (9 January).

Based in the heart of Southampton’s new Cultural Quarter, Guildhall Square, the 5,000 sq ft venue, named Tapas Barcelona will open in the summer, subject to building works, with an authentic Spanish vibe.

The news comes as the group confirmed it had sold one of its rural properties – The Cromwell Arms, a country pub with boutique hotel bedrooms in Romsey, Hampshire - to Fullers because it ‘did not fit’ with the its city, town and waterfront business model.

Diversify

“We have been going for 28 years this year and a lot of our success is being able to diversify our offering as market trends dictate,” a Delicious Dining spokeswoman told BigHospitality.

“We personally feel this type of casual dining where you can sample lots of different types of food [where] it’s a sociable dining experience is something the market will buy into.”

“We visited 80 different tapas venues in Barcelona and looked closely at the design of the restaurants,” the spokeswoman added. “We want to create something authentic both aesthetically and [in] the types of food we’ll be creating but we will have to make sure it fits the English market.”

Year ahead

Delicious Dining managing director Steve Hughes said 2015 was an 'exciting year' for the company, which operates 14 bars, hotels and restaurants along the south coast including three Banana Wharfs and the award-winning fine-dining Italian Ennio’s, with major plans for expansion in place already.

“The group has a large appetite for success,” he said “Over the past two years we have seen a growth percentage of over 12 per cent. We know that that is down to our ability to offer customers a wide choice; evolve as and when the market dictates; have an integrated marketing plan and strong revenue management.  

“This year, we made some substantial changes to the business; we sold a very successful boutique hotel on the outskirts of Southampton and, in response to the rising demand of the burger and casual dining market, revamped one of our existing sites re-launching it as a Shrimp and Burger restaurant; the first of its kind in the city.”

As well as the opening of Tapas Barcelona, Hughes said the company would be looking to expand its Banana Wharf brand and build on its boutique hotel offering.

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