A PASTA bar based in Carlisle has become so popular that it is moving into bigger premises.

Alex’s Pasta Bar, owned by Alex Stoica, is currently based in St Alban’s Row, behind the old town hall.

But the taste for Alex's cuisine has gone down so well that he is moving less than 100 yards away so he can expand the business.

The new bar will be on Market Street, where The Script @ No. 4 was previously.

The move will see Alex’s Pasta Bar change from a takeaway with a few seats, to a fully-seated restaurant.

Alex said he had mixed feelings about the move.

“I am excited and I am not excited," he said.

“I am excited to open the restaurant, but I am not excited to leave this premises because that means I am going to be in the kitchen and lose touch with the guys who come down here.

“I have a good customer base here. We have a chit chat. I’m going to miss that side of the business.”

Alex, originally from Bucharest in Romania, moved to Carlisle in 2005.

After working as a chef in various restaurants in the city, he opened Alex’s Pasta Bar in the Market Hall in December 2019.

He decided to move into the current premises in October 2020 and has had much success.

The new restaurant will offer a range of dishes, but will be different to other Italian food offering in Carlisle for one reason in particular – you can build your own pasta dish.

Alex said: “You don’t need to order penne carbonara or spaghetti carbonara.

“Without feeling embarrassed, you can have what you want.

“Most people are either embarrassed or are not comfortable asking about these things.

“That’s what makes it easy.

“For main courses, they’re not going to be traditional Italian dishes like any other restaurant does.

“It will be different cuts of meat to whatever is on the market at this time in Carlisle.”

Alex was partly inspired to focus on pasta because there were no similar stalls in the Market Hall.

The facilities available also made a difference: “In the market you couldn’t cook very complex dishes because of the equipment.

“I chose pasta because it’s popular – because it’s a dish which covers lunch and dinner and it is one of the things that I have cooked in the past 10 years.

He added: “I think pasta was the best choice because it did create a bit of a buzz.”

The new restaurant is due to open in the next few weeks at 4 Market Street, Carlisle.