Restaurant chain Pizza Express has announced plans to close its restaurant in The Hub, Milton Keynes, as the business attempts downsize to survive the tough conditions created by coronavirus. Across the UK, the chain plans to shut 73 of its restaurants, meaning a potential loss of 1,100 jobs.
Why are Pizza Express closing restaurants across the UK?
It would be too simplistic to blame coronavirus. The chain said that although the majority of its restaurants were profitable before the lockdown was imposed, income had been declining across the Pizza Express estate for the last three years. Competition before coronavirus had been fierce and our dining habits have changed, thanks in part to Uber Eats and other delivery services.
Pizza Express added that the loss of revenue caused by the enforced closure of all restaurants, the cost of reopening and the UK’s uncertain economic future meant some restaurants were no longer sustainable.
What does Pizza Express closure mean for The Hub Milton Keynes?
Not much. The Hub has a great mixture of restaurants and if you are desperate for Pizza, Italian restaurant Zizzi offer a wide range of Italian classics. Zizzi Restaurant has also announced the closure of some stores however, there is no confirmation that Zizzi in the The Hub is on that list.
The Hub offers a diverse range of places to eat from Oscar’s Restaurant & Bar who offer exquisite locally-sourced meals to grab-and-go Subway. Pizza Express sits somewhere in between these two offerings and struggled to offer its own unique dining experience. Compared to the likes of Blossom Room & Turtle Bay which are all within a few steps, Pizza Express just doesn’t stand out in The Hub’s offering.
Whilst job losses are always a bad thing, the closure of Pizza Express will not be felt by diners in Milton Keynes. The Hub is home to a number of restaurants and bars offering their own unique dining experiences. From Turtle Bay’s Caribbean-inspired menu to Blossom Room’s nightclub-infused atmosphere, The Hub has plenty to offer everyone. There are also the more traditional Jury’s Inn, Browns and Be At One.
Many of these restaurants are participating in the government-led Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme launched on 3 August and gives diners the opportunity to enjoy 50 per cent off their meals at participating restaurants.
The scheme was created as a bid to encourage the public to support the hospitality industry by going out to eat at local restaurants.
- 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a maximum of £10 per person.
- It’s valid for eating in only and you can only use it on food and/or non-alcoholic drinks.
- The discount is available all day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3rd – 31st August 2020.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is available at the following Hub restaurants:
Banana Tree – The Hub
Offer available Monday – Wednesdays. Open for food 12pm – 11pm.
Browns Brasserie & Bar – The Hub
Offer available Monday – Wednesdays. Open for food 9am – 11pm.
Blossom Room – The Hub
Offer available Tuesday and Wednesdays. Open for food 4pm – 9pm.
Bogota – The Hub
Offer available Monday – Wednesday. Open Monday to Wednesday 9am – 3pm
DeRoka – The Hub
Offer available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Open daily, 12pm – 11:30pm.
Maaya – The Hub
Offer available Tuesday and Wednesdays. Open for food 4pm – 10pm.
Slug & Lettuce – The Hub
Offer available Monday – Wednesdays. Open for food 12pm – 10pm.
Turtle Bay – The Hub
Offer available Monday – Wednesdays. Open for food 10pm – 11:30pm.
Enjoy St Albans Food & Drink Festival returns this September
The St Albans Food & Drink festival, now in its 14th year, features an exciting programme of events across September including Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, Stars at the Bars and the Oaklands Farm to Fork.
St Albans, in Hertfordshire, has a remarkable history and reputation for food and drink and the month-long event is hugely popular with locals and visitors looking for an incredible foodie experience.
There will also be a 24-hour photography challenge, pub quizzes and iconic film nights, livestock events, street food nights, Bollywood dancing, live radio events and pop-ups a plenty – it truly is a jam-packed festival with something for everyone.
Manager of St Albans Bid, Denise Parsons, said…
“We are delighted to sponsor the festival which celebrates our food and drink heroes who have gone above and beyond during lockdown. There is something for everyone to enjoy, including live music which is hugely welcomed and adds to the vibrancy of our outdoor events.”
Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park event on 10th-12th September in Verulamium Park brings together special chefs, artisan products and top musicians for one big party- with live music from big names such as All Saints, Basement Jaxx, Gabrielle and the Lightening Seeds.
The awards for the district’s best food and drink businesses are one of the festival highlights but due to the pandemic have been scaled down to one prestigious award this year. Nominations for the Kate D’Arcy Award, recognising an individual who has given exceptional customer service to their community during the pandemic, are open until Monday 23rd August and the nominees will be invited to a presentation event on Monday 20th September at St Michael’s Manor Hotel.
The festival culminates with the incredible FEASTIVAL street event on Sunday 26th September. The central streets in the town centre will be peppered with over 100 food and drink stalls, street entertainment, bars with live music, art and crafts activities, cookery demonstrations, face painting and fun for all ages.
Just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London St Pancras International and excellent road connections, St Albans is easily accessible, making it the perfect day or staycation destination.
Where to stay?
Accommodation in the city centre ranges from small and intimate bed and breakfasts to large hotels including the stunning country style Manor hotel, St Michaels Manor, the luxurious Sopwell House and the Victorian Grade II listed Torrington Hall.
Find out more details about the St Albans Food & Drink Festival and where to stay at EnjoyStAlbans.com
Foodie Related Notes:
- An historic inn-keeping city, St Albans has the most pubs per square mile in the country and is home to England’s Oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, as confirmed by The Guinness Book of Records.
- Did you know the hot cross bun originated in St Albans. The ‘Alban Bun’ was created by Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century Monk at St Albans Abbey, who developed the recipe and would feed the poor on Good Friday.
- The city is famous for its café and pub culture with a fantastic range of award-winning eating and drinking establishments.
About St Albans:
- St Albans is one of the best-kept secrets in UK tourism. A historic gem of an English Cathedral City just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London is easily accessible by road with links to the M25, M1 and A1(M).
- The city’s colourful history and heritage can be seen in the Roman remains and the beautiful medieval architecture and picturesque buildings that look spectacular all year round.
- A fabulous shopping destination, St Albans is home to an array of innovative independent retailers and well-known chains.
- There are lots of green, open spaces and parks, making St Albans a family-friendly destination.
German Doner Kebab opens in High Wycombe with dine-in & takeaway
German Doner Kebab has opened its doors in High Wycombe, bringing a new fast-casual dining experience to the town. The restaurant is located at 27-31 White Hart Street and opened on August 2nd, creating in the region of 40 new jobs in High Wycombe. German Doner Kebab High Wycombe will offer a full Dine-In experience, plus Takeaway with Click & Collect and Delivery coming soon.
German Doner Kebab is revolutionising the kebab in the UK, bringing a fresh, high-quality taste sensation that has made it the number one spot to enjoy a kebab.
Freshly prepared in front of customers, the game-changing kebabs are made using premium, lean, succulent meats and fresh local vegetables, served in handmade toasted breads with unique signature sauces.
The brand has recently confirmed its position as the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant chain after announcing that it will open 47 new restaurants in the UK during 2021.
The new restaurant in High Wycombe is the brand’s 67th site in the UK as it continues to bring the GDK experience to more locations throughout the country.
Daniel Bunce, GDK MD for UK and Europe, said: “We’re delighted to officially open and bring the German Doner Kebab experience to High Wycombe.
“Our game-changing kebabs are revolutionising the kebab in the UK and we are excited to be bringing a new fast-casual experience to the area, offering great tasting fresh food in a relaxed and modern setting.”
As part of its commitment to exploring new products that excite and capture the imagination of its loyal customers, the brand recently launched the new Boss Box to consumers across the UK.
Conceived during Lockdown initially for Delivery and Click & Collect, the Boss Box is proving to be a huge hit with customers throughout the country.
Love Brownies opens new cafe and shop in St Albans
Love Brownies, a Yorkshire Dales-inspired chocolate brownie company, is to open a beautiful café and brownie shop in the heart of St Albans,creating a number of jobs and adding a premium brand to St Albans’ bustling high street.
Established in 2009, Love Brownies is known for its decadent brownies and delicious seasonal menus. Originating in the Yorkshire Dales, the brand has a growing network of brownie shops and cafés, with St Albans being the fifteenth to open in the UK. So what makes Love Brownies so outrageously delicious? It’s no secret: they bake each one individually, by hand, using the best ingredients possible.
The Love Brownies Range
The new Love Brownies shop in St Albans will offer a mouth watering menu of indulgent handmade chocolate brownies in a variety of tempting flavours, magnificent brownie milkshakes (with vegan alternatives), a range of premium, freshly-brewed coffees and the bold flavours of Northern Bloc ice cream.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal said: “The St Albans shop will be our first to open in Hertfordshire and we’re so excited to bring our award-winning brownies and delicious Dales-inspired menu to a brand new audience.
Inside Love Brownies St Albans
The inside of a Love Brownies is a unique blend of a cafe and shop. St Albans residents can pop in to the cafe for a drink and one of their fabulous brownies. Love Brownies merchandise and products can also be purchased in store. These include Love Brownies tea towels, Love Brownies mugs and Love Brownies aprons.
For those on the go, a delicious ‘Dales Kitchen’ breakfast and lunch menu with pastries and jam-packed sandwiches will also be available for St Albans residents.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal also said “The shop is in a fantastic location and we’re anticipating a busy summer! We’re so pleased to be bringing business into the area during a time that has been so difficult for so many and can’t wait to be a part of the St Albans community.”
Where to find Love Brownies in St Albans?
The new Love Brownies café will be located at Number 1, Market Place and will open to the public at 8am on Wednesday 21 July. For more information about Love Brownies or to see a sample menu visit www.lovebrownies.co.uk or follow @lovebrowniesbakery on Facebook and Instagram.