When you get an invite to the launch party of a new restaurant or bar you hope for three things – tasty food and drink, a friendly welcome and great music. Solita Bar and Grill, on Winckley Square, delivered on all three when they held their launch party this week.
Owners, Franco Sotgiu and Simon Pogson, spent around £500,000 on the site that used to be The Olive Press and Heathcote’s Brasserie.
Franco told Blog Preston on the launch night that “Liverpool was actually next but when we saw this for sale we jumped on it…We chose Preston because we saw it as an untapped market. Even though there’s lots of competition here there’s nothing like Solita.”
And he’s right. They’ve really made the most of the space. As you walk in there is a fridge full of meat on display to your right.
If you walk past the upstairs bar you are hit with this incredible artwork on the wall as you go down the stairs.
“We’ve got the artwork which we’ve tried to keep local to Preston…
and obviously we’ve got the burgers. We make everything in house, nothing’s bought in and I think the fact we’re an independent, people like as well – it’s just two guys who started 4 years ago”
Franco and Simon have three other restaurants, all based in the Manchester area, but this is their first outside the city where they’ve made a success of the Solita brand.
“When we went to Prestwich a year ago we noticed soon after that it gave other businesses the confidence. The fact that we’re seen as a successful business, we dipped our toe in the water, it gives other people the encouragement to do it as well.
For us, it would be great to see a strip of bars and restaurants along here [Winckley Square].”
Food on the night:
With a successful launch night, a great atmosphere and a place that can only benefit the Preston food scene, what’s next for Solita?
“The next plan is to open the big private dining room at the back, which will be in 4 weeks time. We have the outdoor garden as well. Bit by bit we will keep you updated.
“We get offered sites all the time so we’re looking at Leeds, Liverpool and one other Northern town, possibly Sheffield or Huddersfield. For us, it’s to find a quirky building – that’s the Solita signature.”