A couple who have spent some 18 years working in hospitality in the UK will open the doors of their new pizza restaurant and bar in Cliftonville tomorrow (May 27).
Parents-of-three Zdenek and Lenka Tancos are the owners of Tiarrah Pizza Bar in Northdown Road which is now ready to welcome customers after some six months of refurb works.
The venue, which is the site of a former off licence, features a large Napoli pizza oven with open fire which is so heavy it took a tractor and 10 men to get it in place!
Zdenek said: “We have been working hard to put everything together as we have started from scratch.
The place that we have leased had a bad reputation but we put everything into it to make it look nice and attractive to customers. It used to be an off license and we have given it a complete makeover to make a nice little restaurant.
“We have decided to open it because there is not such a place in Cliftonville where you can sit and enjoy nice wine with proper Italian pizza.”
The couple are originally from Slovakia but met and married in Thanet and have been here for some 18 years.
Lenka, 35, said: “We have been working in hospitality, restaurants and hotels. I have lots of kitchen experience and I love cooking.
“We were thinking to go out and have a nice pizza but couldn’t find anywhere in Cliftonville so decided why work for someone else when we could do this.
“We put some money aside and worked hard to save up and invest everything in this.”
The couple have both studied business management at university in London, with Lenka just finishing her final year, adding the studying and commute to her working and family life.
She said: “I have been very busy working in restaurant and working at university but I am doing it for my children so that one day they see all that energy and effort and will be the same.”
Zdenek, 34, and Lenka got the keys for the property in November and have completely overhauled it.
Lenka said: “It used to look very small but we have been working from scratch. We have a very special large oven which is really big. We had to use a tractor from a local farm to help us get it in and our friends helped with 10 men needed just to move it.
“Then we started working around the oven, building the bar and kitchen. Now we are very excited to be opening.”
Lenka says hopefully the children – aged 17, 10 and 8- will help in the business when they are older, adding: “They are really the reason we did this. We want to build a business and buy a nice house.”
Tiarrah Pizza Bar is eat in and takeaway, initially collection only, to make sure business runs smoothly.
As well as pizza the couple will be serving sharing platters, a range of main meals and sides and desserts and cocktails, wines and beers.
Find Tiarrah at 253 Northdown Road.