Northampton fireplace showroom plans to add 130-seat Italian restaurant to cafe, cookshop and art gallery

A Bell and Co Limited has big plans for its two-and-a-half acre site in Kingsthorpe Road.

A Bell and Co Limited has big plans for its two-and-a-half acre site in Kingsthorpe Road.

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A Northampton fireplace showroom is looking to become a "retail destination" by adding a 130-seater Italian restaurant to its outlet in Kingsthorpe.

Owners of A Bell and Co. Ltd has applied to convert the corner unit of A1 class former showroom in Kingsthorpe Road, Queen's Park, into an A3 use restaurant.

As part of the outline plans posted on the Northampton Borough Council website, the company is seeking to create an outdoor seating area at the premises and install a pizza oven.

But managing director Graham Jackson says the venue will, subject to planning permission, become a 130-seat Italian restaurant the plans are part of a much wider vision for the outlet.

The company is working with Italian chef Carmela Sereno Hayes and hopes to have the restaurant open by September 2017.

But he said the eatery is part of a much wider vision for the A Bell and Co site, which has expanded well beyond bespoke fireplaces in recent years.

He said: "We are not quite a showroom anymore here really, we have added so many things we are bordering on becoming a home department store.

"We have a cafe, a cookshop, an art gallery. Our customers have asked us to extend our offer and the restaurant will be the coup-de-gras, if we are going to be a destination for retail."

Mr Jackson said A Bell and Co owns two-and-half acres of land around the current site, which it could expand into.

Future plans include a delicatessen and increasing its giftware offer.