Entrepreneurs launch Italian pizzeria at shopping centre

Italian chain of pizzerias Buca di Pizza is launching its latest venture at Flemingate shopping centre in Beverley.

Buca di Pizza is investing £350,000 in the fit out of the 3,200 sq ft site which will have 120 covers and create 20 full and part time jobs.

The chain is named after the basement premises of the brand’s first restaurant in Wellington Street, Leeds city centre.

It also has sites in Chapel Allerton in Leeds and Lloyd Street in Manchester.

The brand is owned by brothers Geoff and Nick Thornton through their Leeds-based Wellington Pizza Company business. The serial entrepreneurs have owned a series of bars and restaurants in the North and Midlands but have now focused on growing the Buca di Pizza brand, aiming to establish a string of 10 restaurants across the M62 corridor within the next three years.

Geoff Thornton said: “Beverley feels just right for us. It’s a historic market town with a sizeable and growing local population, as well as incoming trade from tourists and the surrounding towns and villages.

“Flemingate is a fantastic development with a wide variety of shops, a boutique-style cinema, a hotel and on-site parking – all just a few minutes’ walk from the heart of the town centre. It feels really integrated and ideal for our concept.”

The new restaurant follows hot on the heels of news that FirePit Smokehouse & Sports Bar will open this summer. The 7,670 sq ft American-style venue is being launched by Potting Shed Trading Ltd, the company behind Beverley’s successful Potting Shed Bar and Gardens.

Manager of the centre which is developed and owned by Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group, Graham Tait said: “Buca di Pizza is a great addition to Flemingate and brings another new and distinctive offering to the centre and Beverley as a whole.

“We have always aimed to achieve a good balance of major high street brands that have not previously been represented in Beverley, local independents and growing businesses from the wider region who are keen to bring investment into the town.”

Tom Hodgson of letting agents Pudney Shuttleworth commented: “It is great to see local Yorkshire based companies expanding, and Buca Di Pizza is a fine example of humble beginnings turning quickly in to a well-known small chain of restaurants. We think highly of this concept and it has been established in Leeds for some time now. Buca will complement the Firepit next door fantastically and will be a great addition to the scheme.”