First look at new South Shields Italian restaurant

Staff prepare for upcoming launch as they are set to unveil a new Italian restaurant to the public next month.

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South Shields is set to welcome a new Italian Restaurant and Bar 'Olive Garden' to The Nook as the doors are set to open to customers very soon.

Owner Ilhan Ekinci and partner Jeanette Amess have been working hard to bring the venture to life with countless hours and money spent on building up up the restaurant with help from manageress Joanne Gibson.

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The new restaurant will feature dishes such as steaks. pizza, pastas, burgers, risottos and kids meals and staff are able to tailor the menu to suit specific dietary requirement such as gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian and will try to provide any items that aren't on the menu for other dietary requirements.

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Manageress Joanne Gibson and owner Ilhan Ekinci outside the new restaurant Manageress Joanne Gibson and owner Ilhan Ekinci outside the new restaurant
Manageress Joanne Gibson and owner Ilhan Ekinci outside the new restaurant

Ilhan has spent thousands of pounds transforming the building which was an empty shell into the restaurant with greenery themed décor to reflect its name, a new bar, tables and booths and authentic lighting.

He said: "I love the area and the locals here are so friendly I thought it was a great location for the restaurant rather than travelling further afield and I wanted to create something nice for people to enjoy."

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Olive Garden is licensed to open 11am-11pm each day however staff are still finalising which days they will be open and will announce the times of their Facebook page.

In the near future Olive Garden hope to obtain a license for seating outside for people to enjoy food and drinks when the weather is nice.

The restaurant will have a soft opening with family and friends on Monday, 10 July trying out the menu and is open to the public from Wednesday, 12 July which they've already started taking bookings for.

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Ahead of the launch, Joanne said: "I'm nervous as there's been a good reaction from the public so far and they have high expectations but I'm excited to welcome people to the restaurant."

To make a booking or find out more about visit Olive Garden Nook on Facebook.