Empty Leeds restaurant site re-opens as pizzeria

Geoff Thornton, owner and Adam Geddes, executive chef at Buca di Pizza.
Geoff Thornton, owner and Adam Geddes, executive chef at Buca di Pizza.
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A POPULAR Leeds restaurant site that has stood empty for almost a year has been given a new lease of life.

The former La Grillade site on Wellington Street closed its doors just before Christmas last year after 30 years in business, due to rent issues.

But the venue in Leeds city centre has since been transformed into a pizza restaurant and cocktail bar.

Buca di Pizza is due to launch on Thursday, October 30 and has been set up by the family-run Atlas Group, which is behind established Leeds bars Épernay, Atlas and Pour House.

Executive chef, Adam Geddes, aims to serve up traditional Italian recipes and is working with artisan Italian suppliers to create the pizzas, which start at £8.

The menu will also include modern pizza variations such as ‘The Wing Commander’, served with a topping of chicken wings and hot sauce, and the ‘Aragasta’, which comes topped with a full lobster and is priced at £39.

Operations manager for the Atlas Group, Bruce Lerman, said: “The lobster pizza is a great talking point, but it is through our commitment to authentic Italian cooking techniques where Buca really shines.

“We have a real passion for all things Italian and make our pizzas using ancient Neapolitan traditions using the best possible ingredients.”

The bar will also stock Italian craft beers, prosecco, and will include a menu of 100 Italian wines and Italian spirits and liqueurs.

The pizzeria will serve up to 120 customers and a takeaway service will also be available.

A new mobile phone receiver has also been added to the basement restaurant so that customers can get signal.

Since his Leeds restaurant closed, La Grillade owner Guy Martin-Laval has set up another site by the same name, opposite Ripon Cathedral.

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