A London-based Italian restaurant chain is set to take over the old Ask site in Reading town centre.

The Ask Italian in St Mary’s Butts closed down during the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 and never reopened.

Now, the Zia Lucia restaurant chain wants to open its first location outside of London.

The chain’s website boasts that it brings a unique blend of pizza doughs for diners to enjoy, which has been highly rated by TimeOut and Metro.

Menu items include pizza, calzone, Italian appetisers and wine, beer and desserts.

Zia Lucia currently has nine restaurants in London, and has eyed-up Reading as its next location.

Part of the old Ask Italian site in Reading has been closed for around three years since the coronavirus pandemic, with workers being spotted making changes inside the unit over the last few years.

READ MORE: Restaurants and flats planned at closed Italian restaurant in Reading town centre

The old premises was successfully divided after building owners Warrant Investments won planning consent to separate it into two units in March 2021 (plan reference 201390).

One of the units became Biryani Mama which opened in early 2022.

Reading Chronicle: Biryani Mama which opened at the old Ask Italian in 2022.Biryani Mama which opened at the old Ask Italian in 2022.

In preparation for opening, Zia Lucia has applied to sell alcohol indoors and outdoors from 11.30am to 11pm each day.

The staff do not require a licence to sell food.

READ MORE: Italian pasta 'to go' prepares to open in Broad Street

The licensing application has been submitted to Reading Borough Council.

Anyone wishing to comment on the application can do so by emailing licensing@reading.gov.uk.

The deadline for comments is Friday, November 24.