Thursday, 29 November 2012


 The San Marco group has been bringing the superb taste of Italy to Preston since 1975 and their new opening 'Stratos' is set to raise the bar once again through the perfect combination on quality and care that the family are renowned for throughout their restaurants.
         Back in 1971 Mr Ivan Baragagnini came to Britain and 4 years later at the young age of just 23 he set up his first restaurant, 'The Cherry Tree'. With many years in the industry working along side his father The Cherry Tree became a huge success and led to a family of cooks and entrepreneurs that have solidified their brand as the benchmark for Italian cuisine in the area. Since then four more restaurants, each with their own style and personality, have opened including Angelo's, The Orchard, Pinocchios and San Marco. Can their new venture 'Stratos' carry on the families reputation?

I met up with co-owner Guilio Baragagnini to find out.

"We've been born into this business. My dad started it off 30 years ago with the first Italian restaurant in Preston and built it from there. I'm one of 4 brothers who work here, Paulo, Steffan and Carlo."

"We owned this building when it was the French Bistro, it was very well known going on for 30 odd years. They used to have good people spending good money here and it was famous for dancing on the tables with live band and cabaret acts. It was in need of repair and thats when we decided to close it and reopen it as Stratos".

"We wanted to create the kind of place people could come for a quiet beer, something to eat, and generally relax and enjoy themselves"

The interior itself was made using only the finest materials imported from Italy to ensure the authenticity and atmosphere is one to lure you back again and again. The staff are warm and friendly and first appearances certainly impress when you walk past the 360 degree fireplace by the entrance.

"We don't have a high staff turnover as we like to act like a family which I think rubs off on the customers"

With customer satisfaction and strong family work ethic at its core Stratos is set to become a favourite eat out venue for lovers of quality Italian cuisine within a sophisticated, warm atmosphere.

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