Restaurant plan for casino site

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THE site of a former casino next to Scarborough’s Grand Hotel could be converted into an Italian restaurant.

Plans submitted to Scarborough Council’s planning department seek the conversion of the former home of the Grosvenor Casino in St Nicholas Cliff.

The application has been made by Salvatore Gallicchio, who runs Bella Italia restaurant in Mitford Street, Filey.

A statement on behalf of the developers states: “The property itself was originally an extension to the Grand Hotel to form a cafe. The last known use was as a casino. However, the property has been vacant for some years now. The building is listed and therefore due consideration must be given to this with regard to any alterations or redevelopment.

“The proposed development would enhance the surrounding area and have a small impact on the appearance of the area. While we are proposing to create a new opening in the front facade we feel this is a necessity and will only make a minimal impact on this elevation.

“The external alterations are in keeping with the host building and are really only remedial works to improve the appearance of the building.”

The statement adds: “We feel the development would improve and enhance its surroundings while having little impact on the neighbours and for these reasons we hope Scarborough Council’s planning authority will look favourably upon it.”

Previously known as The Continental Casino Club, the business operated next door to the Grand Hotel. It was renamed the Grosvenor Casino in 1996 following a £70,000 refit but closed in July 2006 and has remained empty ever since.

Grosvenor Casinos, which is part of the Rank organisation, transferred its casino licence from the St Nicholas Cliff building to the site of the former New George pub, now home to Scarborough’s first “e-casino” which opened in September after a £700,000 conversion.

Italian restaurateur Mr Gallicchio moved to the Scarborough area more than 30 years ago. He came to the region’s shores from Calabria in southern Italy in October 1979 to live with his cousin.

He began working as a waiter and pizza chef at Tricolos in Newborough. He went back to Italy to marry his childhood sweetheart Rosella in 1986 and brought her back to England before finally settling in Filey in 1993.

Bella Italia started as a takeaway in 1993 and expanded to a restaurant in 2000.

The Gallicchios are active in the local community and are known for inviting youngsters from local schools to their kitchens and teaching them to make authentic Italian food.

The scheme will be discussed at a future meeting of the council’s planning and development committee.