Carluccios plan string of café and food outlets

Restaurateur and TV chef Antonio Carluccio and his wife Priscilla are to open a London chain of 25 Italian food shops combined with caf&#233s.

Restaurateur and TV chef Antonio Carluccio and his wife Priscilla are to open a London chain of 25 Italian food shops combined with cafés.

The first Carluccio’s Caffé branch is due to open at Market Place, off Oxford Circus, in November. A further 24 are to follow over the next five years. Each one will cost £500 000.

Architectural practice Sproson & Barrable has been appointed to design the new 280sqm concepts, following its development of the existing Carluccio’s delicatessen in Covent Garden. Freelance designer Jonathan Stewart has redrawn the Carluccio’s logo for the eateries, which will each include place names in their titles.

Priscilla Carluccio, who has been heavily involved in the design, says the new 60-seater establishments will be “very flexible and laid back. We are trying to make something that will be exciting for everyone of all ages, using a combination of natural and hard edge materials. It will be contemporary and user-friendly.”

There are plans to expand the chain nationally and internationally once the London branches are established. “We’ve got to make sure we manage it properly in London first, but we intend to take it all over the country as well as Australia, Japan and America,” adds Priscilla Carluccio.

But, she emphasises that each outlet will carry an individual layout. “We don’t want it to look like a chain. It’s not what people want these days. We really want to adapt ourselves according to the architectural circumstances,” she says.

“People could have breakfast in one café, lunch in another and dinner in a third, making people feel like they’ve had three different experiences,” she adds.

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