A new Chinese restaurant due to open in Liverpool next year will be the city's largest, it has been announced.
Covering an area of some 22,000sq ft, the restaurant, run by the Tai Pan chain under the brand name Tai Wu, could prove a major source of chef recruitment in the city.
It will be the second restaurant the company has opened under the Tai Wu name, following the successful launch of the first restaurant in Manchester.
Fittingly, it will be built on the site of what was Liverpool's first ever Chinese restaurant – Golden Phoenix – on Hanover Street.
Opened in 1960, the restaurant was demolished in 2009 to make way for the Liverpool One development.
The new restaurant will be part of a 34,000 sq ft leisure development – one of the last plots of the Liverpool One complex to be completed, reports the Liverpool Daily Post.
Called the Beat, the new leisure complex will also house a 198-bed Premier Inn hotel, as well as seven retail and leisure units.
"The site was home to the first Chinese restaurant in Liverpool and now it will be home to the largest," said Guy Butler, projects director at Grosvenor Developments.
"We are thrilled with this letting, which secures two-thirds of the space in the Beat, and sets the tone for the remaining space.
"Following on from the recent news of the student accommodation scheme being developed by Portside House, this is great news for Hanover Street and the Beat."
Grosvenor says it still has another 12,999 sq ft of the complex left to let – space for a cafe and a retail unit facing Hanover Street and three further restaurant units facing Seel Street and David Lewis Street.
Meanwhile, the £12 million Premier Inn hotel, which will sit above the retail and leisure units, will also help increase hospitality recruitment in the region, creating 50 new jobs.
Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions