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Former Allerton inn in Bradford proves to be the ideal place for Italian restaurant chain Pesto In A Pub's latest venture
An Italian restaurant chain is converting the former Prune Park Inn pub in rural Allerton , creating 35 jobs.
Neil Gatt, founder of Pesto, confirmed the company, which usually opens restaurants in city centres and shopping centres, will open its third Pesto in a Pub – and its first site in Yorkshire – on Monday, October 8.
He said he and business partner Sara Edwards picked the Prune Park Lane site, which during its 100-year history has been home to a mink farm and dairy farm, because it was a “great building in a fantastic location”.
“Pubs have been the cornerstones of the community for centuries and it’s really saddening when they close,” he said.
“We hope we can breathe new life into it and offer something new and different for local people.”
Mr Gatt, founder of Spanish tapas restaurant chain La Tasca which he sold 11 years ago, said about 30 people have been employed so far in various roles, with a further “five or six” appointments to make before it opens.
Work to transform the pub into the restaurant, which will serve ‘piattino’ or small Italian dishes in a “pub environment”, was being finalised this week.
Asked about how the restaurant will differ to the pub, Mr Gatt said: “It has a different sort of feel to it in some respects. It has the same sort of layout – it still looks and feels like a pub – but there’s no pool table anymore. That’s been replaced with a dining area.”
The eaterie will be Pesto’s seventh restaurant since the company was formed in 2006.
Mr Gatt said it hopes to open ten more sites next year, including more in Yorkshire, to join its branches at Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Liverpool One shopping centre and St Vincent’s Street in Glasgow.
“The response from the community in Bradford has been really good so far,” he added.
“I was surprised because I thought in that location that not many people would have heard of Pesto, but we’re finding quite a lot of people go to the Trafford Centre and have seen us there.
“We are looking forward to opening.”