San Carlo celebrates 23 years in Birmingham

Landmark for iconic city restaurant.

The award-winning San Carlo Group is celebrating this month as it marks 23 years since the opening of its first San Carlo – a humble 20-table restaurant in Birmingham city centre.

The family-run Italian business, which was founded with the launch of San Carlo in Temple Street on 23rd November 1992, is now a £50 million empire, employing more than 1,000 people and boasting a portfolio of 16 restaurants across the UK. The Group also has international interests in Kuwait, Bangkok and, as of next month, Doha, Qatar.

Since opening its doors, the hugely-successful San Carlo Birmingham has served almost two million diners, including a host of celebrities and showbiz stars. Owner Carlo Distefano, admits he still can’t quite believe what a great success the business is and insists it will remain a family-run enterprise for as long as he lives – his sons Marcello and Alessandro and daughters Sacha and Marissa are all involved on a daily basis.

Carlo, who came to England from his native Sicily as a 17-year-old, started his career as a barber before turning restaurateur. he San Carlo Bristol restaurant opened in 1996 followed by Leicester and Manchester in the late 90s.

Carlo’s son and Group Managing Director, Marcello Distefano said: “The group has grown considerably over the past five years but we are still very much a family business. Our growth has come through a recession and we believe this reflects our constant focus on quality and, of course, our customers.

“The San Carlo name is not only renowned throughout the UK but also internationally in Bangkok and Kuwait. These are very exciting times for us with new sites planned overseas including Cicchetti Qatar scheduled to open this December.”

This year San Carlo Group featured in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 Ones to Recognise: 10 Rising Companies. San Carlo Birmingham is now a 132-cover restaurant and bar split over two floors. In 2012, the Group opened its second operation in Birmingham Fumo restaurant, cocktail bar and late lounge in Waterloo Street.