New restaurant aims to bring a little bit of Italy to South Lakeland

Sapore, on Stramongate

Two restaurateurs have expanded their portfolio with a new outlet in Kendal aimed at bringing “a little bit of Italy to South Lakeland”.

Nick Ward and Giuseppe Sepe, who already run three other restaurants in South Lakeland, have opened Sapore, on Stramongate.

The venture has already created 18 mainly full-time jobs and the duo are still recruiting to take on another dozen members of staff. The team is managed by the highly experienced Laszlo Lukacs.

Giuseppe said: “We have been very busy with between 60 and 70 customers on weekdays and double on Saturday.

“People are really enjoying the quality of the food we are serving. We are getting lots of local customers, as well as some tourists.”

He said the ethos of Sapore was to serve authentic Italian food, including some of the more modern dishes and cooking techniques currently being used in Italy.

Items on the menu include Classica Carbonara, with egg yolk, pecorino romano and smoked pancetta; Risotto Ai Frutti di Mare with arborio rice, chipirones, king prawns, mussels, clams, langoustine and a touch of Sapore’s sugo; and Carre’ di Agnello Alla Romana, rack of lamb served pink, garlic and rosemary, oven baked potato and sauteed vegetables.

Meat for the menu is sourced locally from Cornvale Fine Foods of Melling. Fish comes from Kendal Fish and Seafoods and Hodgson Fish of Hartlepool.

Italian ingredients are sourced from Carnevale, a specialist food importer.

The premises – formerly the site of Little Italy restaurant – include a restaurant with about 60 covers and a bar area downstairs which can be used as an additional restaurant area for parties.

Giuseppe added: “We are a restaurant but we also have a lounge bar upstairs, where customers can have a drink and also order sharing platters and nibbles.”

Nick Ward, left, and Giuseppe Sepe

The duo, who both live in Windermere, say they have some exciting ideas in store. Early next year they plan to make their own deli produce for sale in the restaurant and eventually online, including breadsticks, small jars of pickled olives and aubergines and their own tomato sauce.

The restaurant stocks up to 50 wines but customers will eventually be able to choose from up to 1,200 wines from Sapore’s wine merchant.

Plans are also being prepared to create a sitting area outside Sapore.

The duo, who met six years ago, also run Urban Food House in Bowness, Hooked, a seafood restaurant in Windermere, and The Estuary in Main Street, Grange-over-Sands, which employ a total of 45 staff.

Nick, originally from Poulton le Fylde, spent 10 years in the hospitality industry in London and managed restaurants in Manchester and South Lakeland before he and Giuseppe bought Urban Food House three years ago.

Giuseppe grew up in Naples and worked in high end hotels and restaurants in Italy and Switzerland for several years before moving to the Lake District and working in hospitality in Windermere and Ambleside.