THE chef behind Blackburn’s new £250,000 Italian restaurant said he was ‘thrilled to be coming to the town’s Cathedral Square.

Chris Maughan is creating 30 jobs as the 100-diner A Mano Restaurant which will open on Monday October 23.

Fresh from the success of his his first venture, the Theatre Street Bar & Grill in Preston, he confirmed the launch date of the high-quality eaterie on the ground floor of the town’s One Cathedral Square office block yesterday.

Mr Maughan said: “I am thrilled to be opening a restaurant in Blackburn.

“I chose Cathedral Square as the location for A Mano because of the highly dynamic and diverse neighbourhood and also because of the support from Blackburn council.

“This area is part of a bigger regeneration programme and I am proud to be a part of it.

“A Mano is more than just a restaurant. It is a sanctuary for weary shoppers; a meeting place for deal makers and breakers; a destination for Blackburn’s elite.

“Sit by the window and enjoy a cocktail or retreat to an intimate booth for that special occasion.

“A Mano will showcase modern Italian cuisine, specialising in authentic Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in wood fired ovens along with comforting house made pastas.

“The menu will be steeped in Italian tradition. Simple, yet elegant cuisine will feature the natural beauty of local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients in an appropriate and sumptuous manner.

“The wine program will feature a considerable offering including an eclectic list of speciality wines focused on Italian wineries.”

Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss Phil Riley said: “This opening date is great news.

“A Mano will complement Turtle Bay as somewhere for shoppers, visitors and workers in the town centre to eat well and enjoy good food.”

Mr Maughan added: “The cocktail list will spotlight our interpretations of classic Italian inspired beverages, while the beer menu will include a few classic Italian selections along with an exciting and highly specific craft beer offering.”