A MAJOR revamp is taking place at one of Oxford's Italian restaurants.

Ask Italian in George Street is currently closed for refurbishment.

Scaffolding can be seen outside the building in the busy city centre street known for its restaurants.

According to the chain, the restaurant is being refurbished inside.

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Spokeswoman Laura Lane said: "Our restaurant on George Street is currently closed for refurbishment and we’re looking forward to reopening in just over a week.


"In terms of the new look, we’re particularly excited about the bespoke artwork created by Josephine Hicks.

"We have taken inspiration from Bologna, a city that shares some of the characteristics of Oxford with its university and network of canals.

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"We are just working with Jo to design some limited edition art prints to give out based on the bigger mural she is applying in our restaurant."


Ms Lane said there would be a VIP evening on Thursday, August 1 to celebrate the new look.

George Street is well served by Italian restaurants and competitors for the Ask Italian chain include Bella Italia, Zizzi and Franco Manca. Gino's Spaghetti House is a short distance away in Gloucester Green.

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Franco Manca specialises in reasonably priced sour dough pizzas and is often packed with diners.

The White Rabbit pub in Friar's Entry also specialises in pizza.


There is one less competitor for Ask Italian in George Street following the closure of Jamie's Italian in May after the chain run by the celebrity chef went into administration.

The branch in George Street was the very first, opening in 2008, before the chain expanded.

A notice on the windows has informed diners that the restaurant is now closed and has referred customers to administrators KPMG.


It is not yet known what will happen to the units which accommodated Jamie's Italian and rough sleepers have started to bed down in the doorways.

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The Azzurri Group, a market leader in the Italian casual dining sector, operates Ask Italian, Zizzi and Coco di Mama.

Ask switched its name to Ask Italian in 2010.


The George Street branch of Ask Italian is on the same side of the street as The Grapes pub, which was given a revamp earlier this year by West Berkshire Brewery.


The microbrewery took over the pub from the City Pub Company.

The pub, popular with theatre goers, dates back to the 1820s,