Felicini, the Sheffield-based restaurant group, is set to make its first move into the move pub sector, with the opening of the Pointing Dog gastropub in Cheshire next month.

The seven-strong group has invested £1.5m in the new project on the site of a former Punch pub in Cheadle Hulme, with the venture set to open in the first week of July.

Founded in 2003 by restaurateurs Ged Lynch and Neil Lawrence, Felicini currently operates six sites under its eponymous brand in Bakewell, Didsbury, Manchester, Sheffield, West Bridgford and Wilmslow, plus the Grinch restaurant and bar in Manchester city centre.

Lynch told M&C Report that the group had been planning to enter the pub sector for some time.

He said: “It was just a case of finding the right opportunity. This first site was perfect in terms of size (1.4 acres), car parking space and the surrounding demographic. We are keen to open more sites along these lines if we can find similar locations where these factors are prevalent.”

Lynch, who also didn’t rule out opening further Felicini sites, said the company had been in talks with venture capital firms regarding funding for further expansion.