Following hot on the heels of its first UK site in Bristol, L’Osteria has chosen a prominent location in the UK’s largest restaurant and leisure complex for its second UK opening. L’Osteria Southampton opened to the public on Friday 21st April, bringing fresh flavours and a buzzing atmosphere to the south coast.
The restaurant occupies a split level 686m2 unit on the corner of Southampton’s £85m WestQuay Watermark development. It has seating for 193 diners internally as well as terrace seating for a further 64 people to enjoy L’Osteria’s signature 18 inch pizzas and fresh pasta dishes, cooked using authentic Italian ingredients as well as a selection of desserts and cocktails.
L’Osteria Southampton is open seven days a week, from 11am till 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am to midnight on Friday and Saturday. It has a bar on both floors and a separate function room. LAM Architects helped create the design of the space with HCM Interiors Ltd acting as the main contractor.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about the Southampton opening, co-owner of L’Osteria UK Pru Naik said:
“Compared to the Bristol site, Southampton is slightly larger. It’s around 7,800 sq ft spread across two floors. There is a bar on both floors as well as a large amount of outdoor seating. It’s in a great location that we feel is one of the prime sites in the Watermark development.
“Each L’Osteria is different in its design apart from a few elements that can be found at every site. The open kitchen, the bar design and some of some signage is the same but we try to make each restaurant unique and make sure it fits in with the local area. I think the biggest challenge was recruitment because Southampton has a very low unemployment level. It was important we get the right staff but we’ve done that.
“The success of the early restaurants when you’re trying to establish a brand like this is very important. When you have a large portfolio, you can cover mistakes with the other restaurants more easily. At the moment therefore both restaurants are essential to us. We also want to grow with the people we employ; we want to grow with people within the business.”
At the heart of L’Osteria is its commitment to the very best of Italian cuisine. Pizzas are crispy-thin, served piping hot straight from the stone oven. Dough is made according to a secret recipe and left to rise overnight. Creations include Pizza Canarino (Shoulder of Ham, Fresh Mushrooms, Salami, Anchovies and Cheese) and Pizza Salsiccia Fresca (Mozzarella, Italian Sausage, Savoy Cabbage and Italian Hard Cheese).
Pasta comes fresh from L’Osteria’s in-house pasta factory, cooked according to traditional recipes with high quality ingredients – many of which have been imported directly from Italy. Diners still looking for something on top of mammoth pizza and pasta options can indulge their sweet tooth with deserts that have been hand prepared daily.
L’Osteria was originally founded in Nurnberg in 1999 and in the time since it has expanded to over 70 locations across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The UK arm of the brand is owned and operated by Pru Naik in a joint venture with Maria-Klara Heinritzi of L’Osteria Austria, with each owning 50% of the franchise.
Pru has previously been hugely successful within the UK hospitality and restaurant industry, bringing over 30 years of experience to the project. Until recently he was one of the largest McDonald’s franchisees with 25 McDonald’s restaurants in central and west London under his operation, turning over £55m in 2013.
The WestQuay Watermark development in Southampton opened to the public in December after over two years of construction. It is one of the largest restaurant and leisure complexes in the UK with a variety of shops and restaurants as well as a 10 screen cinema.
For more information on L’Osteria Southampton, please visit losteria.co.uk.