The Salisbury Zizzi branch that found itself at the heart of a suspected Russian plot to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March will reopen tomorrow.
The quiet Cathedral city was thrust into the international spotlight after former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench outside the restaurant after being poisoned with the nerve agent novichock.
The restaurant was one of a number of locations that had to be cordoned off by police for public safety. It has now been given the all-clear to open again by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and has also undergone a new refurbishment.
To mark the occasion customers will be able to try the new menu and pay only what they feel their food is worth – with the money going towards two charities in the area that support young people.
Zizzi operations director Phil Boyd said: “It’s been a difficult few months for the city, so we wanted to take this opportunity to show our support for this brilliant community.
“That’s why we’re inviting local people to join us for an exclusive meal where customers will pay what they feel their food is worth and support incredible local initiatives in the process.”
Chair of the South Wiltshire recovery coordinating group Alistair Cunningham said the branch's reopening indicated that the city centre "has returned to normal".
In September the two suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov – later unmasked as military intelligence GRU officer Anatoliy Chepiga and GRU doctor Alexander Mishkin by the investigative website Bellingcat – appeared on Russia Today in which they claimed they were merely tourists visiting the Cathedral city.
Last month Russian president Vladimir Putin called Skripal a "scumbag" and "traitor to the motherland" but denied the Kremlin's involvement in the attack.