San Carlo, the Italian restaurant chain, is to launch a new bar restaurant concept next year called Fumo adjacent to its original eponymous site in Birmingham.

The group, which currently operates nine sites in the UK, said the main feature of Fumo will be its bar with the food offer expected to be similar to that found in its tapas concept, Cicchetti.

The new concept will open in April next year. At the same time the group will refurbish its existing San Carlo restaurant in the city.

The company, which was founded in Birmingham in 1992 by Carlo Distefano and is led by his son Marcello, currently operates six sites under its eponymous brand in the UK, plus the Flying Pizza restaurant at the Roundhay, in Leeds, its concept Cicchetti in Manchester and its fine dining Signor Sassi restaurant in London.

Marcello Distefano told the Birmingham Post: “We are redeveloping the original San Carlo and the new site, on the corner next door, we are redeveloping into a new bar-restaurant.

“It is going to be a new concept for Birmingham. The main feature will be the bar, which we hope will have a late licence. It is so different to what we are already doing that we thing they will go well together.”

The group also currently operates two restaurants in Kuwait and one in Beirut under its fine dining brand Signor Sassi. It is set to open its first unit in Asia under brand, after securing a site in Thailand.