Antonio was born in Sevilla, Spain to Jose Bravo and Esperanza Solis-Arellano on the 20th January 1946. He learnt his trade in the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Sevilla which was one of the top hotels in the world at the time. He later moved to Palmanova, Majorca and worked in a large hotel which is where he met his future wife Mary.
He moved to England in 1971 and after working in a few different restaurants and hotels around the country, he bought an unoccupied, neglected premises in Netley Abbey, Southampton that was to become “Antonio’s Restaurant”. It opened in December 1980 and due to his flair and enthusiasm, the business was a huge success. His hosting skills were such that people came from far and wide to experience them.
A few years later in 1984 he got itchy feet and decided to go for a unit in the newly developed Ocean Village complex which was to become “Los Marinos”. Again from scratch, he transformed 4 walls into a highly successful business. In 1992 Los Marinos was awarded the “Tapas Bar of the Year” beating entrants from all over the UK.
He loved old character architecture and spotted a building that was on the market and instantly fell in love with it. It was run down and stood empty for a considerable time, but he loved a challenge and within a year his third business venture “La Regata” opened in November 1995.
His talent for giving customers a good time was unique and he was regarded with great fondness by all who had the good fortune to be on the receiving end of his hospitality. His ability to make a party go with a swing was effortless. He enjoyed such occasions just as much as his patrons, sometimes even more so, such was his love of entertaining.
After a long battle with Pancreatitis, Antonio sadly passed away in September 2013. He was a Fantastic Husband, a perfect father and grandfather, a great friend and a respected boss and he will be sorely missed by all that new him.
We have set up a donation page in Antonios name for the charity LAPResearchUK to try and help increase awareness about this disease. Any donations would be much appriciated.