Published On: Thu, Nov 5th, 2015

Roberto’s reveals growth plans and brand ambassador

Skelmore Hospitality Group has revealed plans for a second branch of Roberto’s Restaurant and Lounge, along with a the debut of a new Italian concept and the appointment of two-star Michelin Chef Enrico Bartolini to the position of chief culinary advisor and ambassador of the Roberto’s Group.

The second Roberto’s, which will be followed with further expansions in Asia over the coming years, will be located in the Rosewood Hotel, on Maryah Island, a luxury shopping and leisure destination set amongst Abu Dhabi’s new CBD. The opening is scheduled for Q1, 2016 and the venue capacity is expected to be 325.

This will coincide with the debut of Mercato, described as a traditional Italian trattoria and panifico, opening its doors in the DIFC Gate Village also in Q1 2016. The restaurant will seat 80 patrons inside and 120 outside.

Making the announcements in Dubai on November 4, group chairperson Amin Kadrie said the developments would build on the strong performance of Skelmore Hospitality to date; an indigenous UAE brand, which also owns Urban Bistro. Both the scheduled openings will be owned and operated by Skelmore, with no immediate plans for franchise.

The news also coincides with the appointment of Chef Enrico Bartolini, of Devero Restaurant Italy, on November 1. He is the youngest Italian chef in history to be recognised with two Michelin stars

Bartolini’s role at Skelmore will involve advising, creating and designing new dishes and menus for Roberto’s Group, as well as implementing training for kitchen staff and chefs.

This joint venture will also see future flagship restaurants, both in the region and overseas, with Bartolini acting as a global ambassador of the brand.

Kadrie said: “Skelmore Hospitality Group is a homegrown company with a vision of becoming a global player, and the addition of Enrico Bartolini to our already internationally accomplished team, further illustrates our commitment to this mission.

“Our vision of the future includes a lot more ‘content’ partners, who are the true stakeholders of the company. We believe in minority ownership and investing in this team further will be a strategy that we will wholeheartedly continue to develop.”

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