Zizzi Italian restaurant in Bishop's Stortford shut for good while Cote, Bill's and Prezzo customers await news of their reopenings
Italian restaurant Zizzi in Bishop's Stortford will not be reopening.
According to sources, the eatery in Market Square is one of the Azzurri Group's 75 sites nationwide which is shut permanently following its acquisition by TowerBrook Capital Partners. The takeover is part of a £70m restructuring plan caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Before the pandemic, the 18th-century building, formerly the Curriers Arms pub, was one of Azzurri's 301 Zizzi, ASK Italian and Coco di Mama restaurants.
Nationwide it is estimated that up to 1,200 jobs will be lost as a result of the changes. The Indie has asked both Azzurri and TowerBrook to comment on the closure.
Gina Thomas, the town's BID (Business Improvement District) manager, said that it was a blow to lose a business in such a prominent location.
Before its conversion to a restaurant, the three-storey building was part of the Clement Joscelyne home furnishing estate, trading as The Other Place. The Dogs Head and Mint Velvet occupy the brand's other premises.
Prezzo in the former George Hotel remains closed, although the brand's website says it will be opening in "late summer". Its Braintree outlet will relaunch on August 10.
Côte brasserie in North Street has also not set a date for resuming operations. The French-style chain has reopened 10 outlets and named 18 branches which will follow this week and next, but Bishop's Stortford is not among them.
Its neighbour Bill's is similarly in limbo, but the business has relaunched in Chelmsford, Braintree and Welwyn Garden City. Along with Peterborough, Bishop's Stortford is the only Bill's site in the Eastern region not to reopen.
However, Nando's in Potter Street, currently serving takeaways, is offering eat-in food from Tuesday August 18 and has signed up for the Government's Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme – one of 35 venues in the town centre to have done so.
Gina said: "We're so pleased to see how many businesses have signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and we really hope people come out and take advantage of this great offer. We're very lucky to have a fantastic selection of cafés and restaurants in town, so there's a fabulous choice.
"We're sad to hear Zizzi won't be reopening and very much hope this scheme will ensure the other businesses can continue. Please eat local."