THE owner of a chain of fish restaurants, who next week opens his first branch in Oxford, has said he is excited to be coming to the city and has promised diners a “crowd-pleasing” menu in relaxed surroundings.

Lussmanns Fish and Grill opens next Thursday in the building previously occupied by Carluccio’s in Little Clarendon Street.

Carluccio’s closed last month, though staff were offered positions at Lussmans, saving their jobs.

Carluccio’s, which has previously closed its branches at Oxford Castle and Bicester Village, said it was searching for larger premises in the city in which to launch a more formal-style restaurant.

Lussmanns has five branches all in Hertfordshire, at Hertford, St Albans, Tring, Hitchin and Harpenden. The company claims to have an ethical and sustainable approach to dining while giving each outlet its own personality and identity.

Work is still underway at the site, but the attached pictures of the chain's other branches show what we can expect.

Founder Andrei Lussmann said he was looking forward to opening his sixth eaterie - and his first in Oxford. He said: “The restaurant on Little Clarendon Street in Jericho is the perfect site because it’s in a classic university city.

“It has the right heritage, the right demographic and the right tradition which sits well with Lussmanns.

“It’s a city that aligns itself very similarly to St Albans, albeit slightly bigger. It’s always been on our wish-list to get out of Hertfordshire and Oxford is the perfect place.”

He added: “Lussmanns hopes to offer a casual dining experience for everyone to enjoy, relaxed in the fact that a sustainable ethos is at the heart of the plate without the pomp and preach.

Oxford Mail:

A view of Lussmanns St Alban's branch

“We’ll have a house crowd-pleasing menu with filled with popular seasonally changing signatures, monthly specials and a set value menu available daily from noon to 7pm.”

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A spokesman for the company said: “A sustainable ethos lies at the heart of Lussmanns and is of the upmost importance in everything we do, with an awareness of environmental impact and community value. The Lussmanns’ menus are a celebration of seasonality, a passion for provenance and sustainably-sourced ingredients.”

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Lussmanns is currently the only restaurant group in the UK to be fully accredited with an MSC-certified wild fish list while meat is organically-reared and there is an ever-growing vegan presence on the menu.”

Customers will be able to enjoy dishes such as hunter’s linguine with wild rabbit, free-range pancetta, oyster mushrooms and garlic or a fishcake with baby spinach, caper and parsley butter sauce and a chestnut mushroom fricassee with Jerusalem artichoke.

Sweet treats will include honey and thyme pudding and single origin dark chocolate mousse with honeycomb shards.

Carluccio’s has closed more than 30 branches – around a third of its estate. It last year reported it had been just two weeks from folding. Its woes followed losses and closures for Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo, Strada, Giraffe and Pizza Express.