A business owner hopes to bring a taste of the Meditarean to the streets of Carlisle as he adds the finishing touches to a new bar and restaurant in the city centre.
Yousef Sahib, of Warwick Bridge, is set to open The Muddled Olive on the site of the Pizza Bravo takeaway on the Crescent on Friday.
“It’s going to be Mediterranean themed, food and drinks,” said Yousef, 24.
“We have a wood-fired oven for pizzas and we will have a small selection of tapas.
“It will be open from lunchtime until late.”
The team at the restaurant have received training from an award-winning chef in London.
Described by Yousef as a wine bar/pizzeria, it is also hoped that live music will be performed at the site.
“We have been working on this for the past year and we would have liked to open sooner but for obvious reasons, it has meant things have been delayed,” he said.
“Planning permission took a while and we had some hurdles to jump through and some criteria had to be met, which was fine.
“We didn’t want to rush it, we thought we would take our time because we didn’t want to open during lockdown or just before we could go into another lockdown. We thought we would wait until we can open again and welcome people back with a nice pint and a pizza.”
Difficulties sourcing materials, finding staff and the NHS app ‘pinging’ tradesmen working on site have all contributed to a delayed opening.
The Muddled Olive will serve pizzas all day during the week, with tapas dishes also offered at the weekend.
Eight jobs will be created, which will be a mix of part-time and full-time jobs.
Yousef believes there are a number of things that will help to bring people back to eat and drink.
“For me, it’s about the customer service,” he said. “For me, that is very important. There is also the chance for people to see the pizza being made with the oven on show and they can ask questions about the oven.
“The drinks will be a little bit different, like our premium Italian lager called Menabrea. Our wine selection is of a nice quality, ranging from a more standard wine to a higher-end restaurant-grade wine.”
The Pizza Bravo takeaway closed a couple of years ago.
Yousef has worked in bars since the age of 18 and after returning from a skiing trip in Canada he was offered the chance to take on the site, which is owned by his father.
“I have a big passion for food and I love all different cuisines and I love pizza,” he said.
He decided the opportunity was too good to miss. Yousef says the new restaurant and bar will offer a “welcoming and relaxing vibe”.