The fast growing restaurant brand, Bella Italia, has opened a record 22 restaurants in the last calendar year with the latest opening in East Kilbride shopping centre in South Lanarkshire, Scotland following the opening of their Newcastle site in the Intu shopping mall, Eldon Square.
Bella Italia is an authentic Italian restaurant chain that currently has 111 restaurants in its portfolio around the UK. Part of the Casual Dining Group, the brand has undertaken a refurbishment programme which has introduced a rejuvenated Bella Italia image across their sites. The Casual Dining Group is one of the largest independent restaurant companies in the UK with almost 300 sites across the country and operates other much loved restaurants such as Café Rouge, La Tasca and Las Iguanas.
The family dining business finished its latest opening, the new 160 cover restaurant in East Kilbride, immediately after its successful 150 cover Newcastle site. The two new restaurants represent a £1.6 million investment by the brand’s owner which has created around 90 new jobs across the two sites and coincides with the introduction of a brand new menu across the Bella Italia restaurants.
Keane Design worked to create a fresh and interesting new interior that is in-keeping with the new image that is being rolled out across Bella Italia. The company creates and designs a wide variety of projects across the hospitality sector which includes restaurants, bars and clubs. With a team made up of interior designers, conceptualisers, graphic designers and marketeers, the company has a history of rolling-out excellent branded designs perfect for their clients.
“Detailed design schemes, FF&E schedules, mood boards etc. are produced,” commented Michael Keeney, Projects Director at Keane Brands, “Those are all agreed and signed off internally. Once agreed a full set of detailed drawings are then produced for tender and Local Authority approvals (planning, listed building consent, advertisement consent etc.).”
Combining contemporary design with the use of bespoke features, the team at Keane Design have created a vibrant and colourful new look for Bella Italia. The new interior design being rolled out across the restaurants is a stylish and bright look with hints of rustic authenticity from materials such as wooden panelling. For the Newcastle site, Interiors UK were used as the main contractors in order to develop the design with Medlock as the main contractors for the East Kilbride site.
“There was a lot of research done in the build up to help with the direction of the menu offer, the design, the look, and the feel of the restaurant as well as the site locations and demographics of the visitors. Even down to things like the music that plays in the restaurant, the design on the hoardings across the restaurant during fit out, or the type of till system that is used,” added Michael. “A lot of what came out of the research had a major impact on the look of the two restaurants, the type of seats, the wall finishes, the food and drink offer, and even the signage were all affected.”
The interior of both sites uses the classic Bella Italia colour scheme of red, yellow, green and blue in order to inject life into the design. Distressed red and green leather seating booths create a comfortable place for customers to dine and enjoy the restaurant’s authentic Italian cuisine.
Within the interior design of the sites, rustic wooden panelling is used throughout on the walls and, in the case of the Newcastle site, the flooring as well. Exposed brickwork is also a staple of Bella Italia with painted motifs like the lemons that border the Newcastle interior adding a sense of fun to the restaurants as well as framed artwork linking to the restaurant’s Italian heritage that is also used in the East Kilbride site. Statement walls that feature bold and striking patterns contrast with the exposed brick to create a sense of warmth in the interior that is a staple in the new Bella Italia image.
Pendant lighting from Northern Lights are used as a key element to inject fun twists into the interior with the use of the Bella Italia colour scheme. Other fun touches are added with lights made out of wine bottles at the East Kilbride restaurant. As both sites sit within shopping centres, wooden panelled planters, with a range of plant life, fashion seating areas that allow customers to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the mall whilst dining.
“We learned a lot about what type of customers most use a Bella Italia and their preferences on the brand,” commented Michael, “In addition to that there’s a lot going on within the Bella/CDG marketing, media, personnel, IT, liabilities, procurement, operations and property teams to ensure maximum exposure for the venue opening and to make sure that each venue opening is a success.”
Peppermill Interiors is a family-run furniture company established over 20 years ago, as Peppermill Antiques, by Scott and Fiona Humphreys. The company has recently rebranded itself to better represent its current product range.
Specialising in vintage, industrial, contemporary and bespoke furniture, Peppermill Interiors has supplied a range of leading restaurant, bar and coffee shop chains over the years.
Most recently, the Staffordshire-based company has supplied the popular Italian chain ‘Bella Italia’ with a range of seating for its East Kilbride and Eldon Square restaurants.
Scott Humphreys said: “We love being involved with companies of all sizes, but it is especially exciting when we get approached by larger outfits, such as Bella Italia, as it gives us a chance to showcase our furniture in venues across the country.”
Bella Italia chose a range of colourful leather dining chairs for its East Kilbride restaurant and favoured a more traditional pine chapel chair for its Eldon Square venue in Newcastle upon Tyne.
“Our products work really well in a variety of interiors, and a lot of our items can’t be found anywhere else in the UK. Styles are evolving and changing all the time, and we like to provide our customers with a unique range of furniture that can be tailored to suit their styles and tastes,” said Scott.
If you would like to find out more about Peppermill Interiors, or any of the products featured, you can call: 01543 375872 or visit: www.peppermillinteriors.com.
Spectrum SG Limited
Spectrum SG Limited is a sign specialist, supplying signs across a wide range of sectors, but with a specific focus on restaurants, bars and clubs. Services include the manufacture and installation of signage, graphics, wallpapers, neon, printed awnings, heavy duty parasols (with light and heat), printed café barriers and planters.
Spectrum SG Limited has been in operation since 2009 and within this time has worked on a number of nationwide roll out programmes for leading names such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Wasabi, Wagamama, Bills, Busaba, The Breakfast Club, Homebase, Alfa Romeo & Jeep and Fiat. Spectrum SG Limited is also the nominated sign supplier for the Casual Dining Group, whose brands include Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Belgo and Las Iguanas. Spectrum SG Limited work closely will all their clients and design partners in order to help develop an image that reflects their position on the high street.
Marc Finnegan, Sales Director for Spectrum SG Limited, said:
“It is important that we build partnerships with the very best high street clients in order for us to showcase our abilities, which include design, production and project managing nationwide roll out programmes from inception to completion.”
“We are a professional company with skilled personnel using the latest in equipment and techniques in order to produce quality and innovative signage and branding across all sectors at competitive prices.”
For more information, please visit: www.spectrumsg.co.uk.