Franco Manga plans new restaurant in Birmingham

A chain of pizza restaurants founded in London ten years ago is eyeing Birmingham city centre for its first Midlands venue.

Franco Manca has lodged new plans to covert the vacant unit at 19 Bennetts Hill into a restaurant.

The grade II-listed building used to house a Nationwide Building Society but this closed in September and transferred staff and customers to its branch in High Street following a major refit.

If approved as proposed, the ground floor of the unit will form the main restaurant area with the basement used predominantly for back-of-house facilities.

The planned opening hours are 8am to midnight, seven days a week.

Franco Manca was born in London in 2008 when Giuseppe Mascoli and Bridget Hug took over an established pizzeria called Francos, housed in Brixton Market.

The name means ‘Franco is missing’ as a nod to the original owner Franco who sold his business to pair.

The company now has more than 40 restaurants across the UK, the majority of which are in London, but none in the entire Midlands region and the nearest to Birmingham is in Oxford.

Franco Manca is hoping to open a new restaurant in the old Nationwide branch

If successful in securing permission to open here, it will join a street already awash with bars and restaurants including Ask Italian, Bodega, Buffalo & Rye and Amantia among several others.

A report prepared in support of the planning application said: “The proposed restaurant will enhance the vibrancy of Bennetts Hill, increase consumer choice and ultimately contribute to supporting the viability and vitality of the city while retaining the predominantly retail use of the area.”


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