Neither the pandemic nor Brexit has really dimmed London’s love of fresh pasta as one of the capital’s most iconic manufacturers of tagliatelle, tortellini, and trofie has announced it will open its fifth restaurant in three years. Lina Stores — the pistachio-hued brand first founded as a deli in Soho in 1944 — will add to sites in King’s Cross, and the City when it opens in Marylebone village in 2022.
Restaurant investor Chris Miller, he of the White Rabbit Projects, is behind the expansion, with executive head chef Masha Rener, a longtime patron of the original Lina Stores and the architect of the brand’s first restaurant opening in May 2018, still in charge of the food.
Confirmation of the new restaurant comes after Miller told Eater in September that he had put in licensing applications for sites at the former Sourced Market in Marylebone and at what was Robin and Sarah Gill’s The Dairy and Counter Culture in Clapham.
Big Hospitality reports that the menu in Marylebone will include a number of “larger sharing pasta dishes and secondi as well as a large dolci offering.” A delicatessen based on the original Lina Stores on Brewer Street will offering a range of salads, sandwiches, and of course fresh pasta, all of which can be eaten in or taken away.
Rener said that the group was “incredibly excited to arrive in beautiful Marylebone Village, an area with many similarities to our first home in Soho.”
In September, Miller also replaced Kym’s, the restaurant he backed chef Andrew Wong to open at the Bloomberg Arcade in 2018 (and which closed permanently after the COVID-19 lockdown in the autumn of 2020), with a Lina Stores in September.
While the crazed obsession with fresh pasta, which gripped London in 2018-19 may have cooled off a little in the intervening years, its mass-market appeal remains a recipe for moneymaking success, even if with every new opening, the value of the original Lina Stores brand looks to be diminished.
Not that anyone yet seems to care: Lina Stores also has an outpost in Tokyo, Japan, which opened earlier in 2021 and which is trading on its Soho heritage with impressive confidence.
Next stop — Manchester? Dubai? Maybe even Milan.
Correction: 24 November 2021, 4:23 p.m.: An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that chef Masha Rener was a relative of the original Lina Stores owners.