Mangia Pasta: Couple to relaunch family-friendly Italian bistro in Burnley
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Mangia Pasta, which is located in The Kestrel Suite in Cow Lane, is undergoing a relaunch to help keep the doors open as bills continue to soar.
Frankie Musso says he and his husband Bradley Hensby-Musso will continue to serve authentic Italian dishes at affordable prices but will now also offer regular entertainment and special events aimed at people aged 35-plus.
“The bistro started off really well and was well-supported then it started to lose its stuffing when we had lots of bank holidays all at once. It lost steam a little bit.
"Our rent has gone up by 30%, our water bill is nearly £1,000 a month and we have 14 staff members to pay. It’s a lot of pressure and we’re just keeping our heads above water. We might get to the end of the year and possibly close.”
Frankie, who has two children with his husband, said: “Every time we go out, we ask, ‘Can we afford it?’
“When we opened the bistro, the premise was to aim it at people like us with kids and make it affordable. The four of us could eat here for less than £20. Kids can eat for free and we have a children’s corner with toys and books.
"We went down that road but come the summer holidays, it died down a lot. People were doing other things during the summer to keep the kids entertained.
“I work full-time and run the bistro with my husband, so it’s all hands on decks, and we’re feeling the pinch. It’s been challenging.”
The venue is temporarily shut while the owners put their plans for the relaunch into place and will open again next Thursday.
“We’re excited about the relaunch. We're hoping it will give the business a new lease of life. We’re no longer just aimed at families. Kids can still eat for free and the prices are still affordable but we will also have live entertainment like singers, bands and comedy nights, as well as bottomless brunches and special events.
"It all started with a conversation with my dad. He said, ‘I’m at retirement age and there’s nowhere for me and your mum to go in Burnley for a dance’.
"Older people are being forgotten about so we want to create something that is different without changing our prices. I can see there is a market for live entertainment. There used to be The Mix in town for people aged 35-plus but that has been lost. I’m 35 and I feel old in town.”
The bistro’s menu will also be revamped, with Frankie adding: "Come down and visit us and we can guarantee you will have an incredible meal and just as good entertainment.”
The new opening times for food service will be Thursday 3pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 1pm to 9pm, and Sunday noon to 4pm.