A new restaurant coming to Yateley is hoped to raise awareness of a charity that supports disabled men and women.
Bellini, an Italian restaurant in Hartley Wintney, will be opening a second branch at the unique charity site, Yateley Industries, this October.
Replacing the current café, Jessie’s, the new restaurant will offer authentic Mediterranean cuisine not only to staff and residents at Yateley Industries but also to the public.
Sandra McLarry, from Yateley Industries, said: “The new restaurant will help promote the charity as diners will notice the site, which has been here for many years.
“It will be an eye-opener for those who have never noticed it or understood what goes on there.”
Yateley Industries in Mill Lane was formed in 1948 to provide meaningful employment and to encourage independent living for severely disabled people.
Dependant on grants and donations, the site is split into two, with a factory at the front and residential bungalows at the rear.
Specialists in hand block textile and screen printing, the charity operates a small supported workshop which provides training and employment for around 60 people along with warden assisted accommodation for 27.
There are 12 bungalows, which are rented by people with a disability.
The residents, plus others from the community, work in the factory, packing and assembling items such as furnishings and putting together poppies for the Royal British Legion.
Jessie’s Café, which provides hot food and drink to customers, used to be called Poppies and before that it was named Sunflower Gift Shop.
When the Italian restaurant moves in, customers will still be able to grab their morning coffee from the venue and there will continue to be a gift shop on site.
Staff who currently work at Jessie’s are undergoing training now to start work in the new restaurant, but the kitchen staff will come from Bellini.
Following the refurbishment, the café will remain disability-friendly.
“That is the great thing about it, it’s already accessible for disabled people,” Mrs McLarry said.
“We do not have a decent Italian restaurant around here and the feedback we have received from others about our new venture has been wonderful.
“We need something different in the area and the town needs to keep moving forward to generate income.
“As it is in the centre of the town, many residents will be able to have a drink with their meal and walk home.
“Bellini wanted the space and we wanted to expand, we are really looking forward to it.”
As well as a children’s menu and a selection of light lunch dishes, typical main meals expected on the menu include pizza, pasta, steak, chicken, salmon and sea bass.
The name of the new restaurant is yet to be announced.
A launch event is expected to take place at the beginning of October.