Tosca Tapas and Prosecco Bar was opened by Enver Godanci, who set up Shoreham’s Italian restaurant Tosca in 2004.
“The square has been screaming out for a venue like this,” said the 46-year-old, who lives in Hove.
He said he ‘fell in love’ with the space in Southwick, which used to be home to Cafe Cube, when introduced to it two years ago.
But making his dream bar a reality had taken months of delays and complications.
“I didn’t give up,” he said. “I was determined to see it through.”
Mr Godanci, who is originally from Kosovo, said his Shoreham restaurant has become ‘a real success’, ranking on TripAdvisor as the number one Italian restaurant in the town.
But his Southwick venture is ‘completely different.’
Rather than a family-orientated business, it is a place for ‘adults wanting to escape their children’, share nibbles and a bottle of prosecco.
Open from 11am to 11pm every day, the menu ranges from tapas and snacks to more substantial pasta dishes, making it an ideal place for companies to bring their clients for lunch, said Mr Godanci.
He hopes the bar will ‘give added value to the business community’ in the square.
“We feel confident it will increase footfall to the town,” he said, adding that other business owners seemed to be ‘really pleased’ and ‘very impressed’ with the bar.
Susan Schofield, owner of Fox’s Greengrocer across the road, said the new bar was ‘superb.’
“It completely eradicates the tired old 1960’s feel of the square and brings it into the 21st century,” she said.
“Southwick was crying out for an upmarket, elegant place with really good service and food at a reasonable price.
“It puts Southwick on the map.”
She said Mr Godanci was sourcing fresh fruit to top cocktails from her store and therefore ‘helping to support the local economy.’
Kevin Prosser, of Southwick Square Meats, said the bar was ‘a very good idea’ and ‘just what the square needs.’
“It’s nice to see someone with a young, enthusiastic team putting a lot of money in and thinking long term,” he said.
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