Well-known Harrogate restaurant to close

The popular Italian restaurant chain Prezzo.
The popular Italian restaurant chain Prezzo.

It seemed like it had dodged a bullet in March but hopes have now been dashed, another Harrogate Italian restaurant is to close, one that for a long time seemed to be very popular. The good news, however, is that another restaurant is already set to move in.

When restaurant chain Prezzo revealed in March of this year that the Harrogate branch would be among those avoiding closure under proposals put to it’s creditors, fans of the eaterie in Albert Street just along from Pizza Express breathed a sigh of relief.

It always seemed to be full afterall and seemed to be doing good business.

And a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) published at the time by Prezzo had confirmed the Albert Street branch would not be among the 94 to close nationwide.

The document also outlined the company was facing revenue and sales decline while also owing secure creditors, including £29 million to Barclays Bank.

Jon Hendry-Pickup, CEO of Prezzo, said in March: “Prezzo’s core business today is fundamentally strong and has fantastic potential. However, the well-documented pressures on our industry mean a number of our restaurants are under-performing.

"While we continue to be profitable and cash-generative, our position is not sustainable, so we must take decisive action now to ensure we’re able to thrive in the future.”

“While the 208 restaurants that make up that core will continue to trade as normal, the company expects that 94 will be closed as part of the process."

At the time, the company also expressed concern over high rents it was paying for its sites across the country.

New closure at Harrogate shopping complex

A worrying sign, perhaps, came with the fact the CVA had also identified Harrogate as a ‘category two’ site, which meant it was not "currently profitable due to the current amount of rent paid."

A policy of asking for a 25 per cent rent reduction for 24 months had been proposed as part of Prezzo's CVA.

Whether that worked or not, is irrelevant. It came too late for Harrogate's Albert Street Prezzo which will close its doors for the last time tomorrow, Tuesday, July 17.

Opening soon at the same address, however, will be The Cat's Pyjamas, an Indian restaurant specialising in offering the best Indian street food.