North East Italian chain Sambuca opening restaurant in Benidorm

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North East Italian restaurant chain Sambuca is branching out in Spain by opening a restaurant in Benidorm

Director of the Sambuca chain Omar Jaber chats about expanding the restaurants overseas

They have taken the North East by storm and have a string of Italian restaurants across the region.

But now bosses at Sambuca are saying 'hola' to Spain and giving their Geordie customers a slice of home in Benidorm.

After listening to their thousands of loyal regulars, they have come up with a plan to cater for them when on holiday.

They are opening another Sambuca restaurant in Benidorm with a further two to follow in Alicante and Torrevieja.

The Benidorm restaurant is on Lavante Beach and will be the same cheap and cheerful prices the brand has become famous for.

The first of the Costa Blanca business batch will open within the next month for the summer season.

"We were encouraged to open in Spain by our customers," said a spokesman for the company. "They kept saying they loved Spain but said they would love to be able to go to a restaurant like ours with great food at great prices.

"We looked at where people go on holiday and we decided to try Benidorm. We went across last year during the summer season to see footfall, view prices, competition and premises and we have bought on Lavante Beach.

"The premises can hold 70 covers and it has been Sambucafied. It has been kitted out in the same tiles, angels and gold mirrors as our other restaurants and we will be serving the same quality food as we do back in the north of England."

The first Sambuca restaurant opened on North Shields Fish Quay in 2001. The empire has grown since then with premises stretching from Hartlepool to Blyth with another eight opening in the next six months.

The company has big plans for Spain and by 2015 will be offering Sambuca holidays including accommodation, car hire and half board eating at their restaurants within the package.

"We have invested a lot of money in this and we already have bought the restaurants in Alicante and Torrevieja. We are just ready to refurbish them and will be opening them next year," added the spokesman. "We will be using the same ingredients as we use here so we can offer the same quality our customers are used to. We will be shipping the same meats we use here out to Spain.

"We will also send some of our staff from here and we will be employing some locals but we need to train them to work with our staff first. Geordies will really be able to get a taste of home in Spain." Recently Published

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