The Lord Mayor of Chester joined the founders of a wine bar chain to launch their latest venture in Chester city centre .
More than 450 customers turned up for the opening of Veeno in Northgate Street (Thursday, February 16), with many enjoying a complimentary glass on the house.
Lord Mayor Cllr Angela Claydon cut the ribbon in the presence of company co-founders Nino Caruso and Andrea Zecchino.
She joked: "I see you've got a really good place, opposite my parlour there. I can nip down here easily!"
Chester is the 11th venue in the group.
The story began in 2013 when Nino and Andrea met playing football in Manchester. Both missed the Italian aperitivo culture; the ritual of drinking, nibbling and relaxing after work. And by the end of the year they had opened their first wine café.
Co-founder Andrea said of the Chester setting: “We were fascinated by a fantastic location just next to the cathedral and very prominent. The premises have been vacant for quite a long time after West Cornwall Pasty closed the doors and we really wanted to take over. It will be the perfect spot to promote our concept of the aperitivo and keep growing our brand.”
Veeno source their wine from Nino’s family vineyard in Marsala, Sicily. The Caruso family have been growing vines there since the 19th century. And vineyard owner Stefano Caruso, Nino’s uncle, was also present at the opening.
Nino said: “This is a pivotal time for Veeno, looking back three years ago I could never have imagined we would be where we are now! We regularly have customers travelling from Chester to our wine cafés in Manchester and Liverpool so I’m excited to be bringing the concept closer to them!”
The interior design and fit-out project was managed by The Master Key Group.