HOSPITALITY group DRG is to invest £1 million in the first major refurbishment of its Di Maggio’s restaurant in East Kilbride since it opened 30 years ago – and it will feature the company’s first move into specialist gelateria.

DRG, which has more than 20 restaurants trading under a range of brands across the UK, declared it will launch the the South Lanarkshire town’s first authentic churro bar and  gelateria, Churrissimo, as part of a project that will revamp its interior and its menu.

The company is bidding for the East Kilbride restaurant to become a “dining destination” for families across the west of Scotland, with the gelateria set to offer an “array” of treats including 12 core ice cream flavours and churros, the Spanish fried donut dessert. More than £20,000 will be invested in equipment to produce churros on site, with chefs sent to Spain for special training on how to make the dessert.

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DRG said the work in East Kilbride is the first step in a refresh of the Di Maggio’s brand as it marks its 40th anniversary this year. It said the new interior in East Kilbride, which will have room for more than 220 diners, will be “modelled on Italian heritage, with nods to the brand’s Italian American roots”. Collection and delivery services will continue to be offered.

Tony Conetta, co-owner of DRG and son of Di Maggio’s co-founder Joe Conetta, said: “This is a really big moment for Di Maggio’s and Di Maggio’s East Kilbride. It’s the first major overhaul in the restaurant’s history, and we’ve poured a huge amount of planning and preparation into it.

“It’s also the perfect location to launch our Churrissimo brand. As a trusted neighbourhood restaurant, it’s a safe space to drop teens to meet up for ice cream with friends. With our kids play areas, we also see families travelling for a day out of fresh pizza or pasta, and then enjoy a cone, gelato, or churro afterwards. It’s a dining destination in the making.”

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He added: “We can’t wait to lift the curtain on this next exciting chapter for Di Maggio’s East Kilbride. When my dad Joe first opened the restaurant in East Kilbride almost 30 years ago, he knew the town was perfect – and it's now part of the fabric of the community.

“I’m so proud to see it continue to thrive. “Family is what Di Maggio’s is all about, and the East Kilbride restaurant has been a core part of our family business for such a long time. What’s truly amazing though, is that it’s also been a part of the lives of three generations of families in East Kilbride, people whose parents brought them here are now taking their children. It’s really special.” The new-look Stroud Road venue will officially launch in the first week in May, however, the kitchen reopens for deliveries and collection from this weekend (Friday, March 29).