Restaurant risk pays off for South Shields businesman

Manager Simon Kassae at Mambo's Wine and Dine.
Manager Simon Kassae at Mambo's Wine and Dine.

A restaurant boss who took a risk on a former town centre eatery is celebrating its first anniversary.

Kevin Kasaei, owner of Mambo Italiano restaurant and bar in St Hilda Street, South Shields, took over the former Arbeia restaurant.

It was a huge risk for Kevin to take, especially with the size of the building. But it is a risk that has paid off.

Si Kassae

Following a major revamp, the doors to Mambo Wine and Dine in Winchester Street, South Shields, opened on April 28, 2015.

It is a move Mr Kasaei says he has not regretted, as the venue, which also incorporates a champagne and cocktail bar, continues to attract new as well as returning customers.

As well as the trademark Italian food associated with the Mambo’s brand, the restaurant also offers a range of Mediterranean dishes.

To mark the venue’s first year in business, a celebration event will take place on Thursday, April 28, with live entertainment, canapes and a free glass of fizz on arrival.

Manager Si Kassae said: “It was a huge risk for Kevin to take, especially with the size of the building. But it was a risk that has paid off.

“We did think we would have the initial influx of people with it being something new, but the real test is when you’ve been open a couple of months.

“We have been really lucky as we have not only attracted new people, it’s also nice to see the same faces returning.

“The whole concept was Kevin’s brainchild. When he saw the building was up for lease, he came in and knew it had the potential to do well.”

Over the past year the venue has hosted a number of charity events and has also branched out to providing a venue for weddings, christenings and baby showers.

The venue also boasts its own VIP room which can be hired out for private functions, catering for up to 35 people.

Mr Kassae added: “There has only been a few times when the restaurant hasn’t been fully booked on a weekend, the majority of the time we are fully booked which is great.

“We’d always recommend people, in particular the larger groups, to always book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.”

The special anniversary night starts at 7pm. To book a table call 454 1618.

For more details on the restaurant, visit