ITALIAN restaurant king Barry Kalb is getting into women's underwear . . . but with his wife's blessing. Mr Kalb, 51, has sold his Marco Polo pizzeria in Stanley and this week closes his Marco Polo restaurant in Sai Kung to concentrate on his wife's lingerie business. Suzi Kalb launched the Undercover chain of shops in 1989. Specialising in teddies, camisoles and other intimate items, her company now has its own factory, plus 22 branches in Hong Kong, one in China and a franchise in Macau. But, free of many of his restaurant commitments, Mr Kalb intends to increase the business to 30 shops by the end of next year, with further expansion into Taiwan and Singapore. 'Lingerie has much more room for expansion. The restaurant is a labour of love, but it is still profitable and winning awards,' he said. Mr Kalb has been moving out of Italian food and into the underwear business since last December when he sold the original Stanley branch of his Il Mercato restaurant, which now operates under licence. His Marco Polo Pizzeria, also in Stanley, is due to be taken over by Domino's Pizza on December 1. But he will retain full control of the Marco Polo/Il Mercato restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong. 'I wanted to take down the restaurant business to one restaurant and concentrate on the lingerie,' he said. 'I was planning to sell the Sai Kung restaurant anyway. Then the landlord made a ridiculous rent increase. 'But I still want to indulge my passion for restaurants, and I'll be designing new wine lists and menus soon.' Mr Kalb first came to Hong Kong in the 1970s as a journalist with the North American television station CBS. He returned 12 years ago as a correspondent for Time magazine, just after a two-year posting in Rome, where he developed his knowledge of Italian food. The first Kalb Italian restaurant, Il Mercato, opened in Stanley in 1988.