Wellington Pizza Pub closes Leeds city centre site

The restaurant brand formerly known as Buca di Pizza has disappeared from Leeds.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 12:07 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 12:08 pm
The Wellington Pizza Pub was originally called Buca di Pizza before a name change

The Wellington Pizza Pub opened on Wellington Street in 2014 but has now shut.

However, the company's sister bar DOC, which occupies the upper floor of the Wellington Street premises, has undergone a refit and will now serve pizza alongside drinks and bottomless brunch.

The pizzeria was one of a chain owned by Atlas Group, who originally called their restaurants Buca di Pizza, but were forced to drop the name to avoid a legal challenge by an American company of the same name in 2018.

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Owner Geoff Thornton and chef Adam Geddes pictured in 2014

The Italian chain also opened a site in Chapel Allerton in 2017 - but it closed just a year later due to 'difficult trading conditions', as did a branch in Manchester.

In May this year, they closed their Hull restaurant in the city's Fruit Market, citing a desire to concentrate on their sites in nearby Beverley and in West Yorkshire. It is unclear whether Beverley remains open, although its Facebook page has been deleted.

Several of the family-owned Atlas Group's former ventures in Leeds have been sold off within the last two years.

The company began operations in Leicester in 2002, and in 2005 arrived in Leeds, opening Epernay, which was billed as the city's first champagne bar, inside The Electric Press on Great George Street.

The bar was sold to new owners in 2017, but closed a year later.

In 2017 Atlas also divested themselves of The Pour House, their Canal Wharf venue which was snapped up by the owners of Headrow House, Belgrave Music Hall and The Ox Club. It re-opened as Water Lane Boathouse.

Their London-inspired pub Atlas, which opened in Atlas House on King Street in 2013, was later re-branded as Atlas Brauhaus, which had a German theme. In 2017 it was sold to the cocktail bar chain Dirty Martini.

Atlas Group's Geoff Thornton spoke to the YEP in 2018 about the closure of the Chapel Allerton restaurant:-

"The casual dining market is struggling a lot at the moment and our Chapel Allerton site struggled to make ends meet.

"We invested in it for over a year to try and get traction but it was decided to focus our energies on the city site as it is and remains much more successful.

"We therefore transferred all our staff to the city and continue to trade there."

Mr Thornton did not respond to a request for further comment this week.