Restaurant chain unveils £2m growth plans

Preston-based restaurant business Fino Tapas is planning to open four new outlets in the North West over the next 12 months creating up to 250 new jobs.

Owner Mark O’Rourke will invest £2m in opening two new Lancashire restaurants in Lytham and Blackpool over the summer.

He also plans to open two further restaurants in Kendal and Chester towards the end of the year.

Since opening its first venue in Preston in 2018, modern Spanish tapas restaurant Fino Tapas has gone from strength to strength.

Last year it moved from its original site in St Winifred’s Street to the larger, former Tiggis restaurant on Guildhall Street in Preston city centre – to meet the demands for more social-distanced dining and the Fino Delivery service.

Mark said “We’re very excited to be extending the Fino Tapas brand across Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire. 

“The Preston restaurant has a huge, loyal customer base and continues to attract new customers, thanks to a buzzing night-time culture and growing quality food and drink scene in the city.

 “The Lancashire coast provides an opportunity to develop two great new sites in tourism destinations. 

“Both Lytham and Blackpool have benefitted from multi-million-pound investments and look set to see a boost in staycations, as people look for traditional seaside breaks.

“Each restaurant will serve the authentic quality Spanish cuisine that we have become known for and reflect the style and ambiance of our first Fino Tapas, but they will have their own very individual character.”

The new Lytham restaurant is set to open in June in the former Gusto bulding, close to Lytham Green and the town’s iconic windmill. 

In August, the Blackpool restaurant will open in the former Bella Italia on Church Street, just a short walk from attractions including Blackpool Tower, Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre. 

In Kendal and Chester, Fino Tapas will breathe new life into Grade II-listed, town centre pubs.

Mark said: “We’re making a considerable investment in each of these locations and creating job opportunities for the community.

“After the challenging year we’ve had in hospitality, it feels good to be introducing a new brand and our authentic taste of Spain, to these popular North West town centres.

 “Our aim is to develop the Fino Tapas brand in more sites across the UK.” 

Mark grew up in Preston and has worked in restaurants since the age of 14. In recent years, has help transform eating out in the city.

In 2017 he founded We Don't Give a Fork burger bar in Preston. He followed the opening of Fino Tapas with the Winckley Street Ale House in 2018.

In 2019 he opened the fine dining restaurant 263, in the Winckley Square Hotel, which became Preston's first two rosette restaurant, just a few months later. His newest venture La Neta Mexican, opened during lockdown.