£2 million expansion plans by Fino Tapas founder will create up to 250 jobs
A Preston-based businessman is spending £2 million to expand his restaurant empire, creating 250 jobs.
Mark O’Rourke owns the popular Fino Tapas in Preston ,which is a favourite amongst those seeking authentic, quality Spanish food and drink in stylish surroundings.
Now Mark is to invest £2 million in two new Lancashire sites, in Lytham and Blackpool, due to open over the summer, and a further two sites in Kendal and Chester, due to open towards the end of the year.
The new venues will create up to 250 new jobs across the North West.
Since opening in Preston in 2018, modern Spanish tapas restaurant Fino Tapas has gone from strength to strength and last year, moved from its original site in St Winifred’s Street to the larger, former Tiggis on Guildhall Street – to meet the demands for more social-distanced dining and the Fino Delivery service.
Mark 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.”
The new Lytham restaurant is due to open this June in the former Gusto building on Dicconson Terrace, close to Lytham Green.
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.
Mark said: “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.”
Mark O’Rourke grew up in Preston and in 2017 he founded the We Don't Give A Fork burger bar in Preston.
In 2018, he set up Fino Tapas, followed by the Winckley Street Ale House in 2018.
In 2019 he opened the fine dining restaurant 263, in the Winckley Square Hotel, and became Preston's first 2 Rosette restaurant, just a few months later. His newest venture, La Neta Mexican, opened during lockdown.