Casa Italia on Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Plans have been revealed to transform the iconic former Casa Italia restaurant in Southport.

The site, on the corner of Lord Street and Bold Street in Southport town centre, has been empty for months. 

Previously, owned by the Grossi family, Casa Italia welcomed several celebrities over the years including Gary Lineker, Sir Kenny Dalglish, Dave Allen, Andy Gray, Les Dawson, and many more.

With the recent addition of the Sapori Italian restaurant and bar in Southport, owners Luminita Maranda and Radu Ivan have revealed their plans to convert Casa Italia into a pub. 

The couple have just celebrated their first anniversary at Sapori. 

The decision to expand their empire has been inspired by their customers, who have been looking and asking for recommendations on the best places to go for a drink after their meals. 

Luminita Maranda said: 

“We have been very excited to open our new venture there! We want to make a change to the place and reopen it as a pub.

“There have been several customers asking for suggestions of good places to go for a drink after enjoying their meal with us at Sapori, which had led to us thinking that we should reopen Casa Italia as a pub. 

“Our new venue is going to provide pub food, such as burgers, tapas, maybe we will do some Sunday roast dinners too. We are looking to be opening in around six weeks’ time.”

Erasmo and Eileen Grossi (right) with daughter Giovanna Grossi (second left) and Liverpool star Kenny Dalglish (fourth left) and staff members at Casa Italia restaurant on Lord Street in Southport

Erasmo and Eileen Grossi (right) with daughter Giovanna Grossi (second left) and Liverpool star Kenny Dalglish (fourth left) and staff members at Casa italia restaurant on Lord Street in Southport

Sapori Italian restaurant and bar, which serves classic Italian dishes alongside an outstanding wine list and several choices of cocktails, opened its doors at 519-521 Lord Street last year, in the former Salvatore’s restaurant building. Sapori represents a style of traditional, home-cooked Italian food, recreated in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere to bring diners an authentic experience of fantastic Italian food. With its second-floor private space available for hire, Sapori is also an ideal venue for any special occasion.

Luminita said: 

“We had looked previously at the former Casa Italia restaurant building, but then decided to open Sapori inside the former Curzon Grill and Salvatore’s restaurant site.

“We previously had a look at the place, and we loved it. It was perfect for what we had in mind.

“We had lots of ideas on what we wanted to create and it was a great set-up.

“We enjoyed spending some time with the Grossi family, who had made such a huge success of Casa Italia for many years. We got a lot of great ideas from speaking with them. We are very grateful for their support.” 

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