A new Italian tapas kitchen and bar has opened up in Portsmouth

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A NEW Italian tapas bar and kitchen has opened up in Portsmouth.

Cucina Galleria opened up on Spring Street in Portsmouth on Tuesday, November 26, in part of a building that was previously Street Balls. 

Street Balls in Spring Street, Portsmouth, has undergone a rebrand and is now called Cucina Galleria.''Picture: Emma Terracciano

Street Balls in Spring Street, Portsmouth, has undergone a rebrand and is now called Cucina Galleria.''Picture: Emma Terracciano

The new bar and kitchen will have a new take on tapas, with Italian cicchetti being served up, which are Venetian-inspired small dishes to share between people.

They also have full-sized meals, such as chicken and steaks for those not wanting to share.

The general manager, Enrico Lobina, hopes that the new concept will bring something different to the city. 

He said: ‘As a concept it’s fresh, contemporary and trying to reinvent the whole concept of Italian food and to adapt to all ages and make it quirky.’

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Although originally from Sardinia, Enrico has lived in Portsmouth for over a decade and has worked within many of the city’s restaurants.

He was previously in the army, but left to pursue a career in catering and to get into the restaurant industry.

Since then he has always managed restaurants.  

The restaurant is decorated with contemporary decor, including murals on the bar and even the ceiling from well-known Portsmouth artist Roo Abrook.

The idea behind the concept was to blend music, art and good food together to create something new in the city that is more than just a restaurant. 

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They will open from 11am from Tuesday until Sunday, with the kitchen open until 11pm every day except Sunday. 

They will also open late on weekends, with their selection of Italian beers, champagne, prosecco and artisan cocktails being served up until 2.30am. 

There are currently four members of staff with two chefs and two front-of-house staff.

Staff wanted to steer away from using the term restaurant to describe the new joint, as they wanted it to be more of a sociable place where people can come for different reasons, including people who are looking for a place to host business meetings. 

Enrico said: ‘We’re looking forward to seeing how the people react to this sort of new concept. I am very optimistic with it.’