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Two Italian restaurants Zizzi and Il Gusto opening up in Belfast


Restaurant: Michael Karan

Restaurant: Michael Karan

Restaurant: Michael Karan

Two new Italian restaurants - one independent and one part of a chain - are opening in Belfast.

Zizzi will open in the city centre's Victoria Square shopping centre next month, creating 35 jobs. The company has 140 restaurants across the UK and Ireland but the Belfast restaurant will be its first in Northern Ireland.

Jo Fawcett, marketing director at Zizzi, said: "Belfast is a prime location for Zizzi and we are delighted to be creating 35 jobs within the local area.

"The vibrancy and individuality of the city makes it a perfect setting for a restaurant like Zizzi and we can't wait to leave our mark on the already animated food scene."

It is looking at other locations around the province for more openings.

Meanwhile, a Belfast restaurateur is opening his third venue in the city. Michael Karan, who already owns Solo Restaurant + Bar in Wellington Place and Ambrosia on Ormeau Road, is opening Il Gusto Ristorante in south Belfast tomorrow.

Described as a "healthy Italian", it will open at the former premises of Combos Cafe on 423 Lisburn Road, creating 10 new jobs.

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Mr Karan said: "We want to keep things fresh and healthy and make Il Gusto the place to go for well executed, authentic Italian cuisine."