Why the iconic restaurant Mamma's in Blackpool's Topping Street has been reopened by former mafia queen and Amazon Prime star Merisa Merico

One of Blackpool’s longest established and most popular Italian restaurants has been officially reopened – and a former ‘Mafia Queen’ and Amazon Prime TV star helped launch it.

By Richard Hunt
Friday, 20th May 2022, 10:45 am
Updated Saturday, 21st May 2022, 2:20 pm

The iconic Mamma's Ristorante on Topping Street was established by Guiliano Giacomini back in 1980 and and became a mainstay of the town’s restaurant scene.

Now, after two years of closure, it is open to the public again with new owners, a revamped premises and a switched-up menu.

Lee and Claire Martin first came on board in 2019 but when the Covid pandemic took hold in 2020 their plans were held up.

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Marisa Merico (left) with Claire Martin at Mamas Ristorante

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However, they are now up and running.

As part of the restaurant’s grand reopening this month, they invited VIP guests, opera singer Iona - and Marisa Merico aka The Mafia Princess, the Fylde coast mum who in a former life was running her dad’s crime empire in Italy.

Marissa, 52, who is the subject of new ten-part Amazon Prime series Bang Bang Baby, based on her life and those of her relatives, said she was delighted to support the new restaurant venture in Blackpool.

Operatic singer Iona performed at the official re-launch of Mamas Ristorante in Blackpool

She attended the opening just hours after graduating with criminal psychology degree.

Lee said: “It’s an exciting new era for Mamma's and I’m really grateful to Marisa for helping us launch it.

"Apart from a total revamp of the premises, the focus of the restaurant is a seasonal menu unlike any other available in town, with a focus on classic Italian cooking with a modern approach.

"We make our own fresh pasta daily, to include dishes like Lobster Tortellini with a clam broth and Ravioli of Wild Boar and Marsala, with wild mushroom broth and black garlic.

Mamma's Ristorante on Topping St has reopened after a grand re-launch

“Naturally the menu incorporates plenty of fish, steak and chicken dishes.

“Our head chef Paul Cooper is a local lad, who has worked in kitchens nationally and also studied at Blackpool & Fylde College from 1987.

"He heads up a new team in the kitchen.

"Our approach to pizza is also very different and we also have vegan and vegetarian options available and we also have a children's menu for bambinos.

"Mamma's was always an iconic restaurant in Blackpool and to re-lauch it is a dream come true for Claire and me.”

Mamma's is open every Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm each evening.