Italian restaurant chain Doppio Malto has chosen Glasgow for its first foray into the UK with the owner citing Italy's connection with the city for the decision.

The brand, which currently operates 28 restaurants across seven Italian regions and one in France, will open its doors in June in George Square, creating more than 40 jobs for the city. 

The 8000sq ft site was formerly occupied by Jamie Oliver’s Italian and before that housed Glasgow's biggest post office. It is currently undergoing a significant refurbishment, which will include the creation of a basement bar and a 180-seat restaurant. 

Doppio Malto, which translates as double malt, specialise in craft beers and 'hearty' Italian food.

Doppio Malto CEO and founder, Giovanni Porcu, said: “The past year has been incredibly tough for the restaurant sector, but finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Unlike more traditional Italian dining concepts, Doppio Malto represents modern Italy and its love of feel-good food, atmosphere and craft beer.

"I have no doubt that the people of Glasgow will embrace us with open arms and enjoy this unique new offering.”

Doppio Malto’s goal is to open 100 restaurants throughout the UK following the group’s rapid growth in Italy in recent years. 

Mr Porcu added, “Glasgow is a wonderful city with a deep connection with Italy, so this felt like the natural place for us to lay our UK foundations.

"The dining scene is vibrant and exciting, so we are looking forward to being part of that and welcoming Glasgow customers through our doors.” 

After the first world war, a sizeably community of more than 4000 Italian-Scots began to emerge, with Glasgow hosting the third largest community in the United Kingdom.

Since then, there has been a steady flow of migration between the two countries with a large proportion of the community working in the hospitality industry.

Jamie's Italian Glasgow closed permanently on May 21 2019.

All but three of the celebrity chef's restaurants shut, with the loss of 1,000 jobs, after the business called in administrators.

The chef said he was “deeply saddened” by the blow to his restaurant empire, which began with the opening of Fifteen in London in 2002.

Only his three outlets at Gatwick airport remained in operation.