A POPULAR Italian restaurant is being demolished - just weeks after plans for an extension were approved. 

Chianti, in Chorley Old Road, has been serving up traditional Italian treats for over five years.

Builders have now moved in and started work on the site, although it is unclear what will become of the space.

According to a planning application approved by Bolton Council in March, before demolition began, the garages and porch to the rear of the property were to be demolished. 

They said a new car park and single storey area was to be constructed to extend the restaurant. 

The application to extend came with new jobs, with business bosses proposing that it would take on four more full time and eight additional part time workers. 

The demolition began three weeks ago and Smithills councillor Roger Hayes, who frequented the spot, and says the area will be sorry to see the current restaurant change.

He said: “I have actually eaten there quite a number of times. 

“Certainly it was popular and it was good food and very pleasant people.”

Another fond customer, who travelled from Sharples to dine at Chianti, said: “It was really nice. It had a lovely mural on the wall of an Italian scene. 

“We have been on a few birthday gatherings and I held my early retirement party there.”

The customer said that the restaurant in its current format will be missed in the area.

She said that independent spots should get more backing from diners to preserve them for the future, saying: “We really do need to support these local independent restaurants or all we will have is chain restaurants.”

Chianti employed six full time staff members and eight part time.

Cllr Hayes said: “I think any business deserves support if it’s providing a good service and this one definitely did.”

Fans of Chianti will be pleased to know the owners have set up shop just down the road in Horwich

The Bolton News understands that the team that ran Chianti has now opened a new Italian spot in Lee Lane named Misto.

Cllr Roger Hayes said: “The proprietors have opened up a restaurant in Horwich in Lee Lane, so Chianti has been empty for a number of months. 

“It has very reasonable prices and very good food. 

“It was very good quality Italian food again.”

“I’m sorry to see Chianti closed, but at least they have opened a cafe elsewhere.”

Misto has been receiving rave reviews since opening.

It also has a full marks rating of five on Trip Advisor.

Cllr Hayes said he will be watching what happens with the site ‘with great interest’. 

He said: “I have not seen any planning applications for the space. It’s quite a large site and it gives access to the land behind. 

“I’ll be watching with great interest. I always believe that the most likely aim [in this area] is housing but we will wait and see.”

The Bolton News has made a number of attempts to contact the owners of the restaurant, but has so far been unable to do so.