A growing chain of restaurants offering a modern twist on the classic Italian pizza has chosen Beverley’s Flemingate centre for the next stage of its expansion.
Buca di Pizza will open a pizzeria and bar at Flemingate in August following a £350,000 fit out, creating 20 full-time and part-time jobs.
The opening will add further variety to Flemingate’s dining options and enhance the centre’s growing appeal as a retail and leisure destination.
Buca di Pizza loosely translates as “the pizza pit” and is named after the basement premises of the brand’s first restaurant in Wellington Street, Leeds city centre.
The 3,200 sq ft Flemingate restaurant will be the fourth branch of the independent business, following further openings in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, and Lloyd Street, 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.”
Offering relaxed, informal dining in a bistro-style setting, the Flemingate pizzeria will feature an exposed kitchen and pizza oven and have 120 covers inside, with space for a further 45 diners outside.
Buca di Pizza takes traditional Italian classics and gives them an exciting and contemporary twist by using flavours from around the world. Alongside pizza classics such as the Margherita are unique offerings such as the Snake Charmer, a pizza topped with Goan coconut curry sauce, lamb koftas and onion bhajis, and the Hickory Pig pizza with smoked pulled pork, pancetta and spiced cheddar.
The brand has made a name for itself with its Tutto deal, offering bottomless pizza and refills of prosecco or house beer. Diners have 90 minutes to make the most of the £25.95 offer which will be available at times to be decided at the Flemingate restaurant.
Customers will also be able to choose from an extensive drinks menu featuring Italian wines and beers, bottled and house beers, cocktails and prosecco.
Mr Thornton added: “The essence of Buca di Pizza is classic Italian pizza, but with a modern twist in terms of ingredients and flavour. Lots of people tell us it’s the best pizza they have tasted outside Italy.
“We’re part of a new breed of pizzeria, offering more unusual and interesting choices. Our more modern interpretations are proving increasingly popular and now make up more than 50 per cent of pizza sales.
“In fact, we regularly ask customers, through social media, to come up with their own ideas and we get hundreds of suggestions, with the most popular going on to the menu.”
The Buca di Pizza announcement is the latest in a long list of investments at Flemingate and 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.
Buca di Pizza will be located between FirePit Smokehouse & Sports Bar and the highly-successful Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant.
In addition, 24-hour gym franchise Anytime Fitness opened at Flemingate on June 2, bringing hundreds more people into the heart of the centre on a regular basis.
Centre Manager Graham Tait today welcomed news that Buca di Pizza is to join the ever-expanding line-up at Flemingate.
Mr 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.
“These latest announcements underline the appeal of Flemingate as a magnet for investment and add significantly to the centre’s ever-growing appeal as a leisure destination, complementing the existing strong retail mix.”
Developed and owned by Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group, the Flemingate development has a host of major high street names such as Debenhams, H&M, River Island, Peacocks, Superdrug, The Entertainer and Wilko as well as the multi-brand retailer Outfit.
These are complemented by high-quality independents such as jeweller Guest and Philips, homewares retailer Baytree Interiors, fashion brand VERB and Creative Lab, a shared retail space for artists and designers.