An Italian restaurant on Brighton seafront is set to be taken over by a pub chain.
The lease for the historic Milkmaid Pavilion, which is currently the home of Italian restaurant Alfresco, has been bought by the City Pub Co, which owns the Lion & the Lobster and the Walrus in Brighton and Hove as well dozens of other pubs across the south.
The building, next to the i360, is owned by Brighton and Hove City Council, and the premises was originally built as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951.
The Colasurdo family has leased the building since 1996, serving authentic Italian cuisine and catering for around 130 events annually, including weddings, civil ceremonies, proms and Christmas parties.
Over time the building has been upgraded and in 2000 the Colasurdos added a fully-glazed Art Deco style restaurant on the upper level, together with extensive outside seating areas to both wings.
A spokesperson from the Colasurdo family said: “Having worked hard for many years creating this landmark restaurant we are looking forward to a well-earned rest. We are sure City Pub Co. will have many years of success here.”
The leasehold has been sold to City Pub Co, which was founded in 2011 and runs 46 pubs in the southern half of England and Wales.
The transaction was brokered by leisure property specialists Fleurets, and the leasehold sold for an undisclosed sum.
Clive Watson, chairman of City Pub Co, said: “Alfresco is a landmark site on Brighton’s seafront, which superbly complements our two existing pubs within Brighton. We are delighted to have acquired such a well-known and prominent site, as we continue the expansion of City Pub Group”.
Kate Dowd of Fleurets said: “We are delighted to have secured the sale of this iconic seafront restaurant, on behalf of our clients, in an off-market and confidential transaction, ensuring that their summer trade, events and weddings have been unaffected and its future secured.”