A NEW pizza palace is set to open in Bolton to give people an affordable taste of the authentic Italian favourite.

Bilal Mahmood and business partner Faiyaz Patel, from Bolton, plan to open FiredUp, offering Halal Neapolitan pizzas, in March, in the old Victory pub building.

The friends have already perfected their pizza making skills with the help of famous Italian pizza chef – Davide Auria, and have worked with him to create the menu, sourcing their main ingredients from Italy.

Bilal said: “It was a lockdown thing really, I’m a construction worker usually but with Covid, I ended up sitting at home.

“I’ve always been a foodie and love going out to try new places to eat, but since we couldn’t do that, we relied on deliveries and my go-to is always pizza.

“To be honest, in Bolton you can’t find a good place for authentic Italian pizza that’s also halal. You just have to stick to cheese and tomatoes.”

Bilal has always wanted to get into the food industry but at first thought about starting a burger and fries joint, until the pizza idea came to him.

While training with Davide Auria, the two managed to secure him to also train staff.

One different thing about the new restaurant will be the chance to watch chefs making selected pizzas.

Bilal said: “It’s almost like a Subway because we will have the topping there in front of them, they can choose, and we will make the dough, stretch it, and make the pizza, all in front of the customers.

“The oven is from Italy and it rotates, so it’s the best one to use.

“It had to be in Bolton because I was born and bred here, and we want to bring halal Neapolitan pizza to Bolton finally.”

Pizza isn’t the only thing FiredUp will be selling, as Bilal also plans to sell milkshakes and desserts.

Bilal already trailed his desserts in lockdown with a successful home business on Instagram @BombayShakes.

It proved popular while he was not working his construction job, but he quit it after three months to focus on the new venture and went back to work.

He added: “It did well but it was just an experiment to see if people would like my milkshakes, that I was making from my mum’s kitchen.”

The restaurant will open in the old Victory Pub in Chorley Old Road.