Stamford’s Prezzo restaurant to close within eight weeks

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The Italian restaurant chain Prezzo has announced it is to close one third of its restaurants, including the Stamford branch.

The chain, which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is closing 94 of its 302 restaurants in a bid to alleviate the company’s current financial position and allow it to continue trading.

As part of the rescue bid, the Stamford branch in All Saints’ Place is earmarked for closure, as is the entire Prezzo-owned Tex-Mex chain Chimichanga, which has a branch in Peterborough.

Prezzo has entered a restructuring arrangement known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) - a step away from going into administration - and the CVA documents show it owes secured creditors including Barclays Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland £154m, while unsecured creditors are owed £65.7m.

Directors blamed the company’s financial woes on the significant increase in costs including wages and business rates, and the UK’s ‘difficult trading conditions’.

Staff at the Stamford branch, who asked not to be named, said that the restaurant was still open for business as usual, and could remain open for anywhere up to eight weeks. They are due to discover their fates and exactly when they will cease trading today.

Richard Olsen, chairman of Stamford’s Chamber of Trade, said: “It is disappointing that they are closing the Stamford store. Stamford is spoilt with an interesting and varied range of independent retail food offerings, as well as some larger national chains. So, while it is disappointing to see the demise of any business, I think it speaks more to the quality and choice we have on offer in our relatively small sized town.”

The restaurant is ranked 32nd out of Stamford’s 76 restaurants by TripAdvisor.

New Look is also experiencing ‘difficult trading conditions’ and is looking at closing 60 of its 593 UK stores. The Stamford branch is not believed to be at risk.