Entrepreneurs behind a new Italian restaurant are already planning to open up at more locations following a successful launch.

Cumbria-based hotelier Colin Monk and Cheshire-based restaurateur Alex Mauro have transformed the former Rumours Pizzeria in Bowness, into Caffe Riva, creating 18 new jobs.

The restaurant, which is set over four floors, only opened in June.

It has already proved so successful that Colin and Alex are now hoping to launch two further restaurants in Windermere and Ambleside – potentially the start of a new franchise.

Success is in the blood for the pair.

Colin is a hotelier with two properties in the Lake District, while Alex’s father Enzo Mauro, also a restaurateur, starred in the late celebrity chef Keith Floyd’s BBC television series Floyd on Food.

Mr Monk, owner and managing director at Caffe Riva, said they had searched for the right property for two years.

He said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had from locals and tourists alike.

“We see this as a pilot for further Caffe Riva restaurants and are looking at other locations that could be just as successful.”

The property team at Harrison Drury solicitors advised them on all legal aspects of the business and negotiated a 15-year lease.

“Even after years of experience, taking the plunge and investing in a new business concept and a long-term property lease can prove quite stressful,” added Mr Monk.

He is the proprietor of Luxury Lakes Hotels and is a member of the Lakes Hospitality Association and Cumbria Tourism.

Mr Monk also owns GT Car Tours, which specialises in luxury car tours and driving experiences across Europe.