A Lancashire restaurant entrepreneur has announced an exciting £2million growth plan which will create up to 250 jobs across the north west.

The owner of Preston's Fino Tapas, Mark O'Rourke, said he plans to open another four restaurants over the next 12 months, bringing authentic Spanish tapas to the heart of Lancashire and beyond.

Fino Tapas is a Preston success story and firm favourite amongst those seeking quality Spanish food and drink, in convivial and stylish surroundings.

Since opening in 2018, Fino Tapas has moved from its humble premises in St Wilfrid Street to a much bigger venue in the old Tiggis on Guildhall Street last year, to meet the demands for more social-distanced dining and the Fino Delivery service.

But now Mr O'Rourke has even bigger plans, and 2021 will see the Preston restaurant entrepreneur investing £2million in two new Fino Tapas sites - one in Lytham and a second in Blackpool.

Due to open over the summer, the Lancashire sites will be followed by a further two restaurants outside the county, in Kendal and Chester, which are earmarked to open towards the end of the year.

Fino Tapas is expanding

Fino Tapas is expanding

Mr O'Rourke said: "We’re very excited to be extending the Fino Tapas brand across Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire.

"The Preston restaurant has a huge, loyal customer base and continues to attract new customers, thanks to a buzzing night time culture and growing quality food and drink scene in the city.

"The Lancashire coast provides an opportunity to develop two great new sites in tourism destinations.

"Both Lytham and Blackpool have benefitted from multi-million-pound investments and look set to see a boost in staycations, as people look for traditional seaside breaks.

"Each restaurant will serve the authentic quality Spanish cuisine that we have become known for and reflect the style and ambiance of our first Fino Tapas, but they will have their own very individual character.”

Fino Tapas is expanding

Fino Tapas is expanding

The new Lytham restaurant is due to open this June in the former Gusto building on Dicconson Terrace, close to Lytham Green and the town's iconic windmill.

In August, the Blackpool restaurant will open in the former Bella Italia on Church St, just a short walk from attractions including The Blackpool Tower, Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre.

In Kendal and Chester, Fino Tapas will breathe new life into Grade II -listed, town centre pubs.

The four venues will create up to 250 new jobs across the North West.

Mr O'Rourke added: "We’re making a considerable investment in each of these locations and creating job opportunities for the community.

"After the challenging year we’ve had in hospitality, it feels good to be introducing a new brand and our authentic taste of Spain, to these popular North West town centres.

“Our aim is to develop the Fino Tapas brand in more sites across the UK.”

Some of the cuisine from Fino Tapas

Some of the cuisine from Fino Tapas

In 2017 Mr O'Rourke founded We Don't Give a Fork burger bar in Preston, before setting up Fino Tapas the following year.

This was followed by the Winckley Street Ale House in 2018, Preston's first fine dining restaurant 263, in the Winckley Square Hotel in 2019 (which became Preston's first two Rosette restaurant, just a few months later), and his newest venture La Neta Mexican, which opened during lockdown.

The restaurants are decorated with distinctive handmade Moroccan tiles, hanging charcuterie and have a deli-section – to buy tasty treats for enjoying at home.

For more information visit: www.finotapas.co.uk.