Di Ritas Italian Cambridge logo

In late 2020, Elite Foodservice Design were approached by chef owner Andrew Di Rita to discuss a new exciting restaurant refurbishment with them.

The plan, was to redevelop an old Natwest Bank site, in the heart of St Ives, Cambridgeshire, and turn it in to their new all, encapsulating restaurant, take away, bar and deli.

Having already set up two sites, one a fine dining authentic Italian restaurant, and the other an artisan bakery deli, their new home was to house both sides of the business.

After a few weeks design and consultancy period, EFD were proud to be offered the job of installing the two new commercial kitchen areas, as well as the full interior design of both seating areas, the bar and surrounding stores and WC’s.

One half of the restaurant was to be their pasta and pizza diner and the other half to be their fine dining, Á La Carte experience. This meant utilising specific pieces of catering equipment to create their authentic tastes and menu items.

Space was at an absolute premium here, and the kitchen area itself had to be formed within the bank’s original safe vault. This led to some very interesting issues with extraction design and general spatial layout.

The pizza kitchen boasts a large capacity 3-tier pizza oven, manufactured in Italy with dedicated marble top preparation and fridge counters. A large capacity spiral dough mixer and unique prover, come holding cabinet were also sourced.

The pasta cooking area has a deep tank pasta boiling unit, with a large 6-zone induction oven range – all supported with a flat-topped preparation area with undercounter refrigeration.

The Á La Carte kitchen, again, features both a pasta boiling unit and induction oven, as well as a state-of-the-art Rational combination oven.

The kitchen was designed in accordance with the Di Rita’s ethos of utilising and promoting sustainable, green systems with environmental consideration and energy use high on our priorities within the design.

Di Ritas Italian Cambridge Restaurant outside
Di Ritas Italian Cambridge Restaurant bar and counter
Di Ritas Italian Cambridge Restaurant kitchen redesign by EDF
Ostrich Inn Norwich Norfolk restaurant design

Di Rita's at No 2 is not only a place to shop, eat and drink but a place where the community can come together and enjoy sustainable, quality products. We champion local producers and are working to create a better environment for everyone.

Andrew Di Rita - Chef-Owner

The bespoke extraction system design required council approval, and every detail from noise output, odour filtration and visual impression were taken into account when working with Nationwide Ventilation. Three separate capture hoods were installed for each dedicated area, and ducted through the 2ft thick vault walls and out through an existing ceiling light to the rooftop above.

During the kitchen design and installation process, we also carried out the interior design and fit out of key items.

The idea with the pizza/pasta restaurant was to create an open and vibrant space, focusing on freshness of surroundings and picking up on some simple Italian features. There’s a little nod to the Italian flag colours within the design, and some beautiful artwork, created by local artists to the area.

The bar counter itself was designed by EFD and built in-house at our Lowestoft joinery workshop. The area was created to work as a deli counter, retail space and a cocktail/wine bar. We developed sharp lines and angles to create a unique looking unit, whilst aiming to utilise every small piece of space we could. The bar features a traditional deli display counter to the front, with meat slicing and sandwich preparation. Wine and drinks fridges were sited to the rear, with glass washing, water purifying and wine preservation systems also incorporated. Additional glass storage and display space was created with the use of two bespoke hanging shelves.

The flooring areas were created to add some authenticity and replicate Italian tiled streets through the building, while the pizza dining area had a funky slated wood effect design, the Á La Carte restaurant had a completely bespoke Karndean creation adding to the artist feel of the room.

EFD created two large bespoke architectural lighting features to make use of the high ceilings and produce a stunning visual structure. Artistic wall and picture lights were sourced to prove that you can fashion something unique and bespoke with having to spend a fortune.

Di Ritas Italian Cambridge Restaurant bar and counter


Contact your dedicated EFD design consultant today and discuss how we can make your commercial kitchen concept a reality.