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First Look: Inside the revamped San Carlo Flying Pizza, Leeds’ iconic Italian restaurant

San Carlo Flying Pizza, the renowned Italian restaurant in Roundhay, Leeds, reopens its doors today following an impressive £2 million refurbishment.

This much-anticipated revamp promises to blend the restaurant’s rich local heritage with modern sophistication, ensuring it remains a cherished destination for both locals and visitors.

Drawing inspiration from traditional Italian villas of Lake Como, the refurb features new terrazzo floors that enhance the restaurant’s authentic Italian ambiance. The updated interiors also incorporate retro elements and a completely revamped bar, whilst preserving the original charm that has long defined San Carlo Flying Pizza.

Customers can expect to see more bespoke artwork celebrating local artists, along with a new shellfish instalment which plays homage to Flying Pizza’s longstanding display.

All designed in-house, the custom design draws on concepts set out in the restaurant group’s successful Alderley Edge establishment, whilst acknowledging original features of the well-known and loved San Carlo Flying Pizza.

With a seating capacity of up to 130, San Carlo Flying Pizza offers dining experiences for any occasion. Guests can look forward to the restaurant’s new summer menu, available across all San Carlo locations, which showcases fresh, meticulously crafted dishes that stay true to the restaurant’s Italian roots.

San Carlo Flying Pizza has been a staple in the Roundhay community since 1974, holding a special place in the hearts of many, including the Distefano family. Marcello Distefano, CEO at San Carlo, reminisces: “We lived in Roundhay until I was seven years old. My family and I would eat at Flying Pizza every Sunday at the same table. The place was always buzzing with regulars who brought life and character to the restaurant. Adriano, the original owner, was a larger-than-life character who epitomised the role of an Italian restaurant owner. My father still keeps in touch with him.”

The Distefano family’s deep-rooted connection to Flying Pizza led them to acquire the restaurant when it faced closure years later. “It was important to us to keep the name Flying Pizza because it had legendary status in Yorkshire. Now, on its 50th anniversary, we’ve undertaken a second refurbishment to breathe new life into this iconic establishment,” adds Marcello.

The refurbishment honours the restaurant’s storied past while infusing it with modern elegance. Marcello reflects on the journey: “As a kid, I was always in awe of the supercars parked outside. It felt like a showroom at the front of the restaurant. We hope that Flying Pizza will be around for another 50 years. We might not be here, but hopefully, someone else will continue to look after the restaurant and its heritage.”

For more information or to book, visit San Carlo’s website on:

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