ASK Italian, the Gondola-owned, Stephen Holmes-led chain, has completed the acquisition of a central Birmingham site as it continues strategy of securing units in major cities as part of a handful of openings for the brand over the next few years. The Gondola-owned chain has taken the c4,600sq ft former Barclays Bank building in the city’s New Street for an opening later this year. The 118-strong chain, which opened a flagship site for its tweaked format at Bluewater late last year, is currently under represented across some of the UK’s major cities and in central London, but is looking to rectify that going forward. It is also thought to be exploring opportunities in Manchester and Bristol. The group relaunched 19 sites under its latest design, including sites in Horsham and Norwich and hopes to convert 20-30 restaurants a year from its existing estate to the new look.