Bigger deli, bigger bar AND room for a warehouse in old Busaba unit
Lunya, the multi-award winning Spanish restaurant and deli, is moving out of its College Lane home after seven years.
But while it is adios, it is not goodbye: the family-owned favourite is relocating just a couple of doors up the road - facing the bright lights of busy Hanover Street.
The move, into the highly visible unit vacated by the Busaba Thai restaurant earlier this year, will allow Lunya's fit-to-bust deli and bar area to expand, proprietor Peter Kinsella told Liverpool Confidential.
Meanwhile, a new warehouse of Spanish food and drink imports will be housed on the first floor along with an internet dispatch (Lunya is the biggest online supplier of Spanish food and drink in the UK), overflow and prep kitchen.
Kinsella and his wife, co-owner Elaine, are investing a further £150,000 into the new site and 10 new jobs will be created, taking the Liverpool workforce to 55.
"We currently operate over two floors and our ground floor is way too small for the deli and bar. We often have to turn people away," Kinsella explained. "Not to mention the fact that wheelchair users cannot use upstairs, where most of our dining space is.
"We don't have room to hold waiting diners when the restaurant is full and, depending on where you sit, you can often feel quite disconnected from the rest of our space, especially our deli. We always wanted everyone dining and drinking feeling as though it was part of the space they were in.
"We looked at trying to make our deli and bar bigger but were scared off by the cost!"
The new Lunya opens on Friday 13th October - "an ominous day" - Kinsella jokes, with the last ever service at old Lunya on Sunday 8th October. In the intervening period, all hands will be on deck, moving over equipment, tables, chairs and stock - and there's a lot of it.
Hanover Street isn't lacking in bright lights, loud music and restaurants, mostly of the corporate chain variety. However Kinsella insists that, in the midst of this, the new place will lose none of its gastronomic look or feel.
"We're busy at the moment trying to make the new place look nothing like a Thai restaurant and completely like the Lunya everyone has come to know and love. It will look the part, a place for food lovers."
Lunya, which opened a successful second branch in Manchester last year, also plans to increase the number and size of its regular events, which range from wine and food tasting evenings to gin experiences.
Yet in all of this, the number of restaurant covers will barely increase - 148 on the present tally of 145.
Elaine KInsella added: “Although we and our customers love our existing site in Liverpool ONE, an opportunity arose with a new location offering all the extra space and facilities that was just too good to miss. We’re confident all of our many loyal customers will love it.”