A two-tonne imported pizza oven is helping a new restaurant bring a slice of Italy to Washington.
Around £100,000 has been ploughed into transforming the former Amiro’s in Harraton into San Lorenzo, including importing the firebrick pizza oven from Italy to give the classic dish an authentic taste.
Pizzas and puddings are proving some of the most popular dishes on the new menu, which focuses on Italian staples.
Despite being open for less than a fortnight, after closing for three months for refurbishment, it’s already proving a hit with diners.
“There will always be one person who likes the way something was before, but 99 per cent of people say they really like the new look. We’re over the moon with the response,” said operations manager Stuart Young.
He added: “It was quite a struggle to get the pizza oven in, but it was worth it. The product it produces is fantastic. We completely rebuilt the kitchen and opened it up so people could see the pizza oven in use and it’s proving a popular feature. We’ve had bookings every night and some people have been back three times already.”
The restaurant will be a sister venue to San Lorenzo in Gosforth, Newcastle, which is also undergoing a revamp, and is owned by Taylor and Young Pub Company who also operate the popular Blackbird Inn in Ponteland.
San Lorenzo Washington, which has created 15 full time jobs and half a dozen part-time positions, is the company’s first venture in the town.
Stuart said: “I owned Fiume in Washington for ten years until around five years ago, so knew the area and it’s been lovely to see old customers come here. “There’s certainly enough trade for another Italian restaurant.”
While the 70-seater main restaurant is open for business seven days a week, including for Sunday lunch, renovations are continuing in an adjacent room which will feature a private dining area and bar.