Restaurant expansion to create 250 jobs as part of £2m investment

Up to 250 jobs will be created through the expansion of a Lancashire food business over the coming months.

Mark O’Rourke, the restaurant entrepreneur behind Preston’s Fino Tapas, is investing £2m in two new Lancashire sites, in Lytham and Blackpool due to open this summer, and a further two sites in Kendal and Chester, set to open towards the end of the year.

Since opening in Preston in 2018, modern Spanish tapas restaurant Fino Tapas has gone from strength to strength and last year, moved from its original site in St Winifred’s Street to the larger, former Tiggis on Guildhall Street, to meet the demands for more socially distanced dining and the Fino Delivery service.

Mark said: “We’re very excited to be extending the Fino Tapas brand across Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire.

“The Preston restaurant has a huge, loyal customer base and continues to attract new customers, thanks to a buzzing night time culture and growing quality food and drink scene in the city.”

He said the Lancashire coast provides an opportunity to develop two great new sites in tourism destinations.

He added: “Both Lytham and Blackpool have benefitted from multimillion-pound investments and look set to see a boost in staycations, as people look for traditional seaside breaks.

“Each restaurant will serve the authentic quality Spanish cuisine that we have become known for and reflect the style and ambiance of our first Fino Tapas, but they will have their own very individual character.”

The new Lytham restaurant is due to open this June in the former Gusto building on Dicconson Terrace, close to Lytham Green and the town’s iconic windmill.

In August, the Blackpool restaurant will open in the former Bella Italia on Church Street, just a short walk from attractions including The Blackpool Tower, Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre.

In Kendal and Chester, Fino Tapas will breathe new life into Grade II-listed, town centre pubs.

Mark said: “We’re making a considerable investment in each of these locations and creating job opportunities for the community.

“After the challenging year we’ve had in hospitality, it feels good to be introducing a new brand and our authentic taste of Spain to these popular North West town centres.”

And he said the aim is to develop the Fino Tapas brand in more sites across the UK.