OWNERS of an independent restaurant with a loyal following in York are investing half a million pounds in a major refurbishment.

Lucia Wine Bar & Grill will close in January and re-open with a fresh new look on February 13, its 11th anniversary.

Oscar Akgul and his business partner Osman Dogan own the Swinegate venue as well as the Cut and Craft Steak House, employing 100 in the city.

Oscar said: “We are closing for a refurbishment with a half a million pound budget. We are going to change the entire look.”

“We are very grateful to the people of York,” he added. “They welcomed us and our food 11 years ago. We have thousands of loyal customers who keep coming back to us.”

The duo who also have Lucia restaurants in Beverley and Harrogate pride themselves on giving back to their community.

“We make money in York and invest back into York,” said Oscar. “Some big companies come to York and make money and take that money out and go to other cities, but we provide incomes to families and contribute a lot to our community. I am very excited about the refurbishment. We are going to launch with a big party. We are spending half a million pounds, and we spent £1 million on Cut and Craft. We are competing with the big boys; The Ivy, Carluccios. We are trying to tell them that local does it even better.”

Lucia Wine Bar & Grill launched in York almost 11 years ago, with a fresh offering of home-made tapas, cocktails and al fresco dining.

Oscar said their ‘humble’ restaurant was always ‘’on the go’ , with a changing specials menu, a vegan menu, and calorie-counting cocktails among its offering.

“A lot of people know us so it is good to announce our refurbishment.”