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By Emma Eversham, 05-Jan-2015

Queensberry Real Estate has been appointed by Aviva Investors Property Trust as development manager tasked with revitalising the Corn Exchange in Manchester into one of the UK’s best dining facilities. Works began on the historic Grade 2 listed building in September 2014.

Vapiano, the fast-casual Italian restaurant chain has secured a site in Manchester for its first restaurant outside London.

The German-founded group, led by managing director Phil Sermon in the UK, outlined plans last year to look beyond the capital to expand the business and has now confirmed Manchester for its fourth site.

Vapiano Manchester will open within the Corn Exchange in the city centre later this year following a £2m investment to redevelop the site and creating 80 new jobs.

Sermon said: “We are thrilled to have secured such a fantastic site in Manchester. Many of our guests have requested that we open in the north of England and it is exciting that we can now deliver this.

“Manchester is a vibrant city and I am confident that Vapiano will prove popular and be a great addition to the city’s social scene."

Spread across two floors with two bars and lounge areas, the restaurant will serve Vapiano's trademark homemade fresh pasta, pizza, salad and dolci made to order by chefs from an open kitchen.

As within its Great Portland Street, Wardour Street and Bankside restaurants, diners will be able to eat at its small and large sharing tables. 

Designer Felix Finkernagle Ross, responsible for the design of Vapiano in Wardour Street, Soho, will be in charge of designing the new site.

Vapiano Manchester will join Byron, Bar and Kitchen Banyan, Cabana Brasilian Barbecue, Eclectic Grill, Pho, Pizza Express, The Cosy Club, Wahaca, Salvi’s Deli, Tampopo and Zizzi at the grade II listed building, which is currently undergoing a £30m refurbishment by Queensberry Real Estate before re-opening in June.    

Sermon said the restaurant chain, which started in Germany in 2002 and now operates 150 restaurants across the globe, would continue to look for sites outside the UK following the securing of its Manchester site.

“This highlights our intent to open many more Vapiano restaurants in prime positions across the UK," he said.

The whole ethos of the planned refurbishment and development from Aviva Investors is to enhance the building’s character, soul and integrity and to strengthen the unique positioning of the destination.  The building is set to be completed with the first restaurants opening in June 2015.