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Albert Square Piccolino to double

EXCLUSIVE: Italian chain will take former Ego unit

Published on March 24th 2011.

Albert Square Piccolino to double

Italian restaurant brand Piccolino is planning to take over the former Ego site next to its existing restaurant near Albert Square, Confidential can reveal.

Individual Restaurant Company has been eyeing the unit, in the Northern Assurance Building, for almost five years but has now decided to expand its popular city centre branch.

Nobody from IRC was available to comment on the planned Clarence Street expansion, but Confidential understands the two units will be merged, allowing the restaurant to create a new, larger bar area and outdoor seating.

The expansion comes hot on the heels of rival San Carlo opening a second city centre site, Cicchetti, and the imminent opening of Jamie’s Italian nearby, on King Street.

The firm, which also owns the Restaurant Bar and Grill brand, secured a refinancing on its £18.5m loan facility last September, and shaved more than £1m from its debt.

The firm revealed a turnover of £24.6m for the year to June 2010, but pre-tax profits were down year-on-year, at £700,000 (2009: £1.3m).

Its restaurants made a profit of £2.7m (2009: £3.3m), with part of the decline due to increased site payroll costs driven by changes to the rules defining the national minimum wage in October 2009.

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

LakingMarch 24th 2011.

I like Piccolino. And Ettore

EttorefantooMarch 24th 2011.

Yep that man Ettore is in fact a great guy who remembers everyone - the perfect restaurant manager.

BanesMarch 24th 2011.

Ettore is to Piccolino as Silvano was to Le Gavroche. He is the yardstick by which Manchester front of house must be judged.

Plenty of current restaurateurs/managers around town cut their teeth under him and you'll hear almost nothing but praise.

Good to hear he has a major new project to keep him interested, there's life in the old dog yet!

SmagmancMarch 25th 2011.

Picollino is by far my favourite Italian in Manchester! I can only echo the comments above regarding Ettore. He is relentless in his good humour and affable personality and has the waiting staff on their toes the whole time. We were in there for lunch on Friday, thankfully we got there early enough to claim a decent table because by the time our second course arrived it was chokka block. Ettore remembered us and asked about our kids who we had been in with a few months earlier for a birthday celebration. You can't get personal service and attention like that these days in many places. I hope by expanding they don't lose any of their charm. Oh and by the way the Deep Fried Calamari and King Prawns are tremendous!!

Ali McGowanMarch 25th 2011.

Eaten there twice and loved it. I recall a delicious warm salmon salad. Good luck to them!

Lauren LewisMarch 25th 2011.

So glad to finally get his name!
Picc´s is one of my favourite Italians and simply one of the Best in Manchester (for me its second only to San Carlo). SO glad it has expanded – I thought EGO was well done but the food was for me quite average- so that their demise makes for a larger version of one of my faves is great news!
I think it´s the little things that make me such a frequent visitor – they even always remember the preference I have for which wine glass I like- the service is impeccable. Ettore also knows how to make a girl feel special on a dreary Monday afternoon – its eternally summer when it comes to this man and I'm grateful for it! They also have my favourite Gilchrist & Soames handwash (a feature in all IRC restaurants) and did I even mention the food is fantastic?? :)

James10450March 26th 2011.

nice but too expensive. Nearly £18 for seabass and you get absolutely nothing with it... i don't think so

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