A POPULAR Italian restaurant which has been closed for nearly two years is set to re-open its doors in a few weeks.

Restaurant Gemelli, in Bridge Street, Newport was one of several businesses to close due to electrification work to the railway lines and the rebuilding of the railway bridge in May 2016.

Despite the works having finished more than a year ago, the restaurant has remained shut.

But co-owner Pasquale Cinotti has announced that is about to change.

"We will be opening in the next few weeks," he said.

"I know it has been quite a long time and we have had a lot of people asking when it will re-open.

"That is why I am pleased to say it will not be too much longer until we can say 'we are open.'"

Mr Cinotti, who owns another restaurant in Spytty, said the restaurant will be fully refurbished when it opens.

"There is not a lot left that needs doing," said Mr Cinotti.

"We are waiting for furniture to arrive and bits for the bar. And it also needs decorating."

He also revealed that the restaurant is set to be re-named.

"There will be a lot of changes when it re-opens," he said.

"The restaurant will be re-named but I cannot tell you what its new name is. It will also be decorated differently.

"We closed the restaurant when works started to take place on the bridge. We then thought we would make changes to it when it is shut."

He added : "The restaurant is one of our big plans for the city."

The Cinotti brothers had also previously announced plans to turn a Grade II listed building in Stow Park Circle into a boutique hotel.

Despite the application being put on hold by the planning committee, the Cinotti brother assured people he and his brother were "committed" to the city.

"I am positive about Rothbury House," he said. "I will be finding out very soon whether our plan will be accepted.

"If we are turned down and welcomed to either Bristol or Cardiff with the idea then of course we will take it there.

"But we will remain in Newport with our restaurants despite the outcome."