Clydesdale Bank has agreed a £15 million funding package with the property arm of Glasgow-based restaurant chain Di Maggio’s.
The funding, delivered as part of Clydesdale Bank’s Investing for Growth strategy, an initiative which helps successful businesses to grow, will support the company’s plans to further expand its property portfolio across Scotland.
The group’s former L’Ariosto restaurant in Glasgow’s Mitchell Street, which has been undergoing a major refurbishment, has just re-opened to the public as The Barolo Grill.
More than £500,000 has been invested in transforming the restaurant which is a long-standing favourite with city diners. The new-look Italian steakhouse now boasts a completely transformed contemporary decor and a state-of-the-art wood burning pizza oven has also been installed. The Barolo Grill has a staff of 30, can cater for 140 covers and has private dining facilities which can accommodate 50 people.
Di Maggio’s is also poised to open a new 8000 square foot flagship Edinburgh restaurant on the corner of George Street and St Andrew’s Square.
The site, which formerly housed The Grapes wine bar, will be the group’s second Amarone-branded outlet. Di Maggio’s has invested £750,000 in the 150-seat Milanese-style pizzeria and wine bar which will open at the end of June and is expected to repeat the success of the Amarone in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.
Mario Gizzi, director of Di Maggio’s Group, commented: “Our strategy for the group going forward is to further enhance our property portfolio, building on our flagship outlets in key locations such as Royal Exchange Square and Buchanan Street in Glasgow and our new George Street outlet in Edinburgh.
“Our decision to invest heavily in refurbishing one of our most popular Glasgow outlets and open another in a high profile Edinburgh location shows our confidence in the business and faith in the sector.
“Our lengthy track record within Glasgow has been crucial in helping us to build our profile in these key locations and this property portfolio is backed up by a strong trading company. We still have a strong appetite for growth despite the challenging financial climate and we’re on schedule to open a US-style chop house in St Vincent Place in Glasgow by mid-2012.
“We have plans, with the support of Clydesdale Bank, to develop a number of additional sites in Scotland and longer term we have not ruled out expansion south of the border.
“We’re delighted with the support we’ve received from Clydesdale Bank who have committed time and energy to getting to know the business. We’ve been able to build a strong relationship with their team and we’re particularly impressed by the access we’ve had to the key individuals at the Bank.”
Nigel Kerr, business development partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Glasgow Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), said: “Di Maggio’s is one of Scotland’s most respected restaurant operators and we’re delighted to be able to support the group as it prepares to embark on the latest phase of its expansion.
“Despite the challenges facing the sector, Di Maggio’s continues to trade strongly due to the strength of its property portfolio, the quality of its cuisine and the high standards of customer service it delivers.”
Established in 1985 and offering high quality Italian cuisine, Di Maggio’s is Scotland’s largest independent family restaurant business. The group employs 500 staff and reported turnover of £18.8 million for the last financial year.
From its original West End outlet at Ruthven lane off Byres Road, it has undergone major growth. It now has 16 outlets across Scotland and as well as the Di Maggio’s and Amarone brands also operates a number of Cafe Andaluz tapas restaurants.
Clydesdale Bank launched its new business support initiative – Investing for Growth – to help successful businesses grow and develop. The support package offers both new and existing business customers a dedicated planning service and a more flexible approach to lending. Loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit facilities are just some of the flexible support options available under the Investing for Growth initiative which also includes a dedicated financial planning service.