A popular Italian takeaway and espresso bar is expanding into the premises next door thanks to demand from customers who wanted to see their food cooked in front of them.
That’s Amore, on Stainbeck Road, Meanwood, was opened in April 2015 by Elvi Drizi, a former manager at Flying Pizza in Roundhay.
In the New Year it will expand into the unit previously occupied by a hairdresser’s, so that a seating area can be installed to cater for diners who want to sit down to eat.
The wall between the two units will be knocked down in the coming days, and Mr Drizi sad he hoped to get an alcohol licence from Leeds City Council before the end of this month.
He said: “We have done fairly well [since opening], with plenty of deliveries. What I didn’t expect was that people wanted to eat in, the tables we have were meant for outside use during the summer but people wanted to eat in because they wanted to see the food cooked in front of them.
“People have heard good comments about us and think we are a restaurant, we were getting calls saying ‘can we book a table for 6.15pm’, we had to say that we only had three tables.
“So when next door became available I thought it would be good to have an extra seating area.
“What we are trying to do is exactly the same, keep it personal, keep it simple, but have some extra places for people to sit down.”
Mr Drizi, who has lived in Leeds for 11 years, spent eight years working for Flying Pizza before deciding to set up That’s Amore. He started as a coffee-boy and worked his way up to manager.
He said: “My idea was to be able to provide real Italian food, imported from Italy with Italian chefs, cooked fresh in front of people, but taking away all the expense that comes with a restaurant.
“In my opinion there was not anything similar to That’s Amore at that time, I wanted to keep it as low-cost as possible so that people could afford to eat with us three or four times a week.”