HERNE Bay's long-awaited Italian restaurant will fire up its ovens next week.
Owner Gennaro Esposito and his team are planning to launch A Casa Mia on Tuesday, with free samples and a chance for people to look around.
It will then be open for business, serving pasta and pizza cooked by Mr Esposito and two chefs from Italy.
He said: "I have lost most of the summer trade but at the end of the day I am here for locals.
"The launch is a chance for people to come and check the place out and see what we can do."
He has taken on 14 part-time waiting staff, all from Herne Bay, and uses a host of local suppliers including Peter's Produce, Frazer's butchers and Hudson's Fish. Local builders and craftspeople also worked on the building's renovations, which took longer than planned after officials found additional problems with the building.
There is a traditional wood-fired pizza oven downstairs and Mr Esposito is planning regular competitions and offers.
He is also introducing the Naples tradition of a lucky draw when it comes to paying the bill. Tables of four or more who order from the a la carte menu pick a ball and the number is written on their bill. If it is drawn at the end of the night their food is free.
He added: "People have been coming in to ask how it was going and everyone has been so supportive.
"I'm delighted we can finally open and serve them and thank them for their warm welcome."
For more information on the restaurant, visit www.facebook.com/acasamiahernebay or call 01227 504175.