Sourced from The Gazette & Herald - follow link to original article
AN authentic Italian restaurant is to open in a landmark Chippenham building next month.
La Passione is aiming to open mid-April in the former Bridge Brasserie at the Little George roundabout.
This week it has had a new floor put in and been repainted with a chocolate and cream colour scheme.
The restaurant will be managed by Mario Merlino, originally from southern Italy, who has for the past 10 years managed La Passione in Chipping Sodbury.
His family opened the first La Passione in Kingswood, Bristol 16 years ago. Chippenham’s is the fourth to open, after Chipping Sodbury and London.
All are rated four-and-a-half out of five on Trip Advisor.
Mr Merlino said: “Chippenham needs a traditional Italian restaurant and we are looking forward to opening there soon.
“Our kitchen staff are already in place, but we will be looking for front of house staff so will be advertising in the near future for two full-time and two part-time waiting staff.
“The chefs are Italian and it will be more or less the same menu as in Chipping Sodbury.”
It offers pizzas ranging from £6.95 to £10.95, Italian pasta dishes and omelettes, plus fish, chicken, veal and steak dishes as well as Italian ice cream.
The owners also have a restaurant in Malmesbury of a different name, Europa Cuisine.
The former Little George Hotel in Chippenham is being let by Huw Thomas Commercial, whoich were asking for an annual rent of £25,000 for the ground floor. It has been empty since the Bridge Brasserie closed in September.
It was painted bright purple and lime green when Chris Bonsor and Steve Smith moved their business there two years ago, from smaller premises in New Road now occupied by Pizza Hut.
Planning permission and listed building consent have been awarded to turn the first and second floors into apartments – three one-bedroom and three two-bedroom.