Hopes are high that donating diners will have raised hundreds of pounds for the Newcastle-under-Lyme based Alice Charity which supports local vulnerable families.

More than 140 invited guests including Newcastle Mayor Councillor Sandra Hambleton, local businesses and loyal customers enjoyed a taste of Italy at the official reopening of popular Newcastle High Street restaurant Pasta Di Piazza Italiana on Tuesday.

Councillor Hambleton officially opened the restaurant and invited guests enjoyed an authentic Italian experience, as Channel 4 Operatunity soprano Denise Leigh performed a series of songs from popular operas while they enjoyed a three course Italian menu specially created for the evening.

The restaurant has undergone a complete facelift following a £3/4m investment into the business by owner Jigar Gheewala, who was keen to support a grassroots family charity and has pledged to donate cash raised during the launch evening to the cause.

Sam Warrilow, fundraising manager for the Alice charity said: “Alice are honoured to have been considered by Pasta Di Piazza as their charity of choice.

“Here at Alice we believe that family is everything, and for a local family business to support us in delivering that vision to the most vulnerable families in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme is brilliant!”

Pasta Di Piazza Italiana general manager, Nass Hamza, said the Newcastle restaurant had a large loyal following of customers who had already given their new look the seal of approval since the business reopened last month.

He said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our customers who have been so patient while we closed the restaurant to carry out all the work, and for their lovely comments about the big changes we’ve made when they’ve come back in.

“The Newcastle launch event was a wonderful evening which everyone really enjoyed, and it was great for our staff to hear so many positive comments from those who came about our service, our food – and of course our lovely new surroundings.”

The Stone Pasta Di Piazza Italiana restaurant also underwent a complete refurbishment and reopened to customers in March this year.