For quality food, an amazing atmosphere and unforgettable moments, choose Pizza Express
Peter Biozot started Pizza Express in 1965, opening his first branch at Wardour Street, Soho. His idea occurred after he had lived and worked around Europe during the 60s, settling in Rome and keen to bring authentic Italian Pizza to the UK as he realized there was nowhere to buy them.
His determination and passion for authenticity proved to be a winning combination. His new restaurant was the start of the casual dining concept here in the UK, with the sale of square pizza slices sold in greaseproof paper through the front window.
The brand grew even more with the opening of its second restaurant in 1967 next to the British Museum on Coptic Street. The building was formerly a dairy, but Peter was keen to bring in a new design, different to the one of his first restaurant, to match the buildings character and charm. This is something Peter was keen to do with all his Pizza Express restaurants, comparing them to links in a necklace, each one being a highly polished gem, rather than being a part of a ‘chain’.
In future restaurants, Peter decided to introduce his love of art, also teaming up with Enzo Apicella, an Italian designer. They introduced a wine menu, dining tables, open kitchens and simple but attractive furnishings.
Another interest of Peter was jazz music which he also decided to introduce into his restaurants. The basement of his Dean Street branch was converted into a jazz club with big names like Jamie Cullum and Norah Jones performing there. Pizza Express also developed its very own record label as well.
Peter sold all his shares in the business in 1992, but the chain continued to be successful and now boasts over 350 restaurants across the UK, as well as ones in another 12 different markets. The chain is also involved in charity work, inventing the Veneziana pizza which donates a percentage of each sale to the Veneziana fund.
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