Pizza chain Little Wing eyes expansion in Britain and Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland pizza chain Little Wing is planning to take a slice of the growing Italian cuisine markets in Great Britain and the Republic where it is eyeing potential new restaurants.
The wood-fired pizza and pasta restaurant group's plans follow rapid expansion here over the last number of years.
The business, which now has six outlets, is part of the Beannchor Group which runs a total of 45 bars and restaurants, including the five-star Merchant Hotel.
Little Wing is owned and operated by Bill Wolsey and his sons, Conall and Luke.
Managing director Luke Wolsey said Little Wing's success has "proven that this is a good business model and we have ambitious plans for growth in the coming years".
He said: "We are reviewing options for further expansion of Little Wing, with a number of sites being investigated across Northern Ireland.
"Looking to the future, we see the time arising whereby we will have reached a level of critical mass in Northern Ireland and will need to consider options.
"We are already tentatively looking at site locations in both the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain."
The first Little Wing eatery opened in Belfast's Ann Street in 2009, followed by venues on the Lisburn Road, in Ballyhackamore in east Belfast, Holywood and Bangor.
Aside from a range of interesting pizzas, which include the Tuscan - featuring pork and fennel sausage with onions, jalapenos, rocket and chilli oil - and a 24-inch pizza for those with a bigger appetite, Little Wing also serves up other Italian-inspired dishes such as lasagne and pesto pasta.
But Beannchor's Little Wing pizza business isn't the only part of the group which has plans to grow.
It's set to expand original plans for its Bullitt hotel in Belfast.
The hotel will be on the corner of Victoria Street and Ann Street, at the old Lagan House building. And now the company has bought the adjoining Annsgate House.
The first phase will see 44 new bedrooms, a ground floor cafe, bar and restaurant being built - due to open later this year.
And the second phase will add more than 30 new rooms to the development.