Two entrepreneurs behind a new Italian-themed restaurant in the Lake District are already planning to open up at two more locations following its successful launch.
Caffe Riva, which has transformed the former Rumours Pizzeria in Bowness, creating 18 new jobs, is the brainchild of Cumbria-based hotelier Colin Monk and Cheshire-based restaurateur Alex Mauro.
The restaurant, set over four floors to provide four individual dining experiences, opened in June and has already proved so successful that Colin and Alex are now hoping to launch two further restaurants in Windermere and Ambleside, potentially opening up a new franchise concept.
Success is in the blood for the two entrepreneurs. Colin is a hotelier with two properties in the Lake District, while Alex’s father Enzo Mauro, also a restaurateur, starred in the late celebrity chef Keith Floyd’s BBC television series ‘Floyd on Food’.
Colin Monk, owner and managing director at Caffe Riva, said: “After searching for a property for two years we were fortunate enough to be approached by the previous owners before the property was put on the market.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had from locals and tourists alike. We see this as a pilot for further Caffe Riva restaurants and are looking at other locations that could be just as successful.”
The property team at Harrison Drury Solicitors advised the pair on all legal aspects of the new business and negotiated a fifteen-year lease of the property.
“Even after years of experience, taking the plunge and investing in a new business concept and a long-term property lease can prove quite stressful,” added Colin. “Harrison Drury’s expertise was invaluable in providing us with legal security and peace of mind.”
Naomi Fell, director at Harrison Drury, said: “The restaurant sector was one of the hardest hit by the recession, but as the economy strengthens the sector is once again thriving for those with the right business model. Colin is a seasoned entrepreneur and with Alex’s skills I’m sure the business will be a huge success with great potential to expand in the region.”
Colin is the proprietor of Luxury Lakes Hotels and is an active committee member of the Lakes Hospitality Association and Cumbria Tourism. He also owns GT Car Tours, which specialises in luxury car tours and driving experiences across Europe.