Finney mural kicks off new bar and grill

LEP  08-07-16
Co-owner Franco Sotgiu next to the painted murals, celebrating PNE success and Sir Tom Finney on the walls of the new burger restaurant Solita, Winckley Square, Preston, which is due to open next week.
LEP 08-07-16 Co-owner Franco Sotgiu next to the painted murals, celebrating PNE success and Sir Tom Finney on the walls of the new burger restaurant Solita, Winckley Square, Preston, which is due to open next week.
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Visitors to Preston’s newest bar and grill will get a real kick out of unique murals celebrating the city’s history.

From legendary Preston North End star Sir Tom Finney to the Invincibles team of the 1880s, the new SoLita restaurant in Winckley Square is proudly displaying murals put together by graffiti artist Russell Mehan.

There is even a nod to Wallace and Gromit, created by Nick Park, and actor Kenny Baker of R2-D2 fame from Star Wars.

Operations manager Daniel Kelly said SoLita always tried to get local flavour into each new restaurant as it opened.

Russell worked at night creating his masterpiece, in the absence of builders and other workmen putting the finishing touches to the new restaurant ahead of its soft launch next week.

Daniel said: “It’s looking good. We always like to bring some local touches to our restaurants and there’s a lot of thought goes into it.”

Already SoLita regulars are booking tables at a rapid pace.

After a VIP launch at the end of July, the restaurant will then be in full swing.

Other bespoke artwork has been commissioned by world renowned illustrator Stan Chow, the official illustrator for New Yorker magazine.

SoLita is listed in the Good Food Guide and is also winner of Daily Mirror’s Best Burger in the UK title .

It will be launching an extended menu for Preston which includes more grill items,summer salads and an extensive new cocktail list.

Co-owners Franco Sotgiu and Simon Pogson opened SoLita on Turner Street, Manchester in 2012, aiming to deliver an American grill with a dash of Italian flair.

SoLita will operate from premises formerly operated by chef Paul Heathcote

Franco said the firm had looked at other towns and cities – including Liverpool and Leeds – to expand into but had chosen Preston.

He said he had great faith in the city and its future,