Gusto is already established across the North West, Yorkshire, Midlands and Scotland and the opening in Chislehurst, south east London, marks the group’s 18th site.
£700,000 has been put into the site, which was previously home to short-lived French restaurant Oriel.
Headed by managing director Sue Crimes, the group has begun searching for further locations on both sides of the M25.
“2017 has been incredibly exciting for Gusto and we are thrilled to be moving into new areas,” she says. “We see real opportunity to grow our brand in the London area and South East and are aiming to open three more Gusto restaurants in the region in the next 18 months.”
Crimes led a management buyout of Gusto in 2014 backed by Palatine Private Equity. The group offers a “classic and contemporary menu” with best-selling dishes including tagliatelle with prawns and garlic; salt-baked sea bass infused with lemon and Italian herbs; and 28-day-aged steak with garlic butter, roasted vine tomatoes and fries.