Two Devon Pizza Express restaurants have closed for good

Two Devon Pizza Express restaurants will close, the food chain announced today in moves to stay afloat following the coronavirus lockdown.

Pizza Express nationally say Torquay and Barnstaple will permanently close along with 73 of its 454 restaurants, with the loss of 1,100 jobs, as it attempts to shore up its finances. The Exeter Pizza Express at Broadgate, on the corner of Cathedral Yard, is not listed for closure.

The Torquay premises is on the harbourside near the clocktower and has been undergoing a major decorating programme since before it shut at the start of lockdown. It was due to reopen last Friday. It is close to the £35m new Torwood Street Hamilton Hilton hotel development.

The Barnstaple eatery, which is based in one of the town’s oldest buildings the former Three Tuns pub opposite the ancient Pannier Market, has also reopened since lockdown restrictions eased.

Ironically the closures come as most Devon eating out establishments are struggling to cope with the volume of diners as the county experiences a post-Covid tourist boom and the Government half-price Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

The chain confirmed it has finalised a proposal to reduce costs via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) on Tuesday (August 18).

Although the majority of restaurants were profitable before lockdown was imposed, bosses claim earnings have been declining across the estate for the last three years.

Pizza Express UK and Ireland managing director Zoe Bowley said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic led to some “incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term”.

Pizza Express in High St, Barnstaple

The full list of restaurants earmarked for closure:

Aberdeen, Belmont St

Aylesbury

Barnstaple, Three Tuns

Biggleswade

Billericay

Birmingham, Corporation St

Birmingham, Mailbox

Bournemouth, Post Office Rd

Bramhall

Bristol, Berkeley Sq

Bristol, Regent St

Bromsgrove

Bruton Place

Charlotte St

Chippenham

Dalton Park

Darlington

Dudley, Merry Hill

Earls Court, Earls Ct Rd

Edinburgh, Holyrood

Formby

Fulham Palace Road

Glasgow, Princes Square

Glossop

Gosforth

Grantham

Halifax

Hampstead

Hatch End

Hereford

Heswall

Ipswich, Lloyds Ave

Leeds, Crown St

Leeds, Horsforth

Ludlow

Lymington

Melton Mowbray

Midhurst

Milton Keynes, Hub

Moseley

New Brighton

Newcastle

Newport, Isle of Wight

Newport, South Wales

Northallerton

Nottingham, Goosegate

O2 Finchley

Orpington

Oxford, Oxford Castle

Poole

Port Solent

Ramsgate

Reading, St Mary’s Butts

Scarborough

Sheffield, Devonshire St

Sheffield The Moor

Shirley

Southport, Old Bank

Stafford

Staines

Stoke

Stourbridge

Sudbury

Torquay

Uxbridge

Wakefield

Walsall

Wapping

Wardour St

Weston-super-Mare

Whiteley Village

Whitstable

Wrexham

Devon Live – Devon News