Pizza Express re-opened in Uckfield with a new look last night (Thursday, June 23) following refurbishment.
Guests were welcomed with a free glass of Prosecco, Bucks Fizz or apple juice and a majority of the 25 members of staff employed there were on duty to ensure the evening ran smoothly.
Manager Brendan Kavanagh said he was delighted with the refit, which includes new illuminated signage and re-decoration outside, while inside there is a more formal meet and greet area, new flooring and furniture, re-decoration, and specially commissioned artwork.
There are also new fixtures and fittings throughout the newly decorated toilets area.
Outside decking area has been given non-slip treatment, colourful bench seating has been added and new plant boxes are awaited. There are also new strings of lights to give a festive feel at night.
Back inside the air-conditioning and heating system has been replaced to make the restaurant more comfortable in both summer and winter.
Brendan is especially pleased with artwork which reflects the interests of many Pizza Express guests who head there after going to the cinema a few steps away.
The pictures have a cinematic theme, and are embellished with pressed flowers. A mural continues the theme with a wall-mounted film camera linked as if to a projection of scenes.
The bar area and open kitchen area have also been given a facelift with new tiling and lighting. Seating arrangements have been changed to improve some of the previously less popular areas, but the same number of guests can be accommodated, 108 of them.
Another thing that Brendan says is important is the improved acoustics. Tiled flooring has been replaced with wooden flooring and that has made a big difference to the way sound travels.
Brendan has been manager at Pizza Express in Uckfield since last August but has spent more than five years at the restaurant where he started as a chef and was supervisor and then assistant manager before becoming manger.
He played a full role in the refurbishment and is proud of the result. “I hope our guests will sense the family-friendly and personal touch when they come in.”
Brendan has lived in Uckfield for most of his life and is keen for the restaurant to be involved in community events.
Big Day Out
Pizza Express will be having a stall on the Luxford Field on the festival’s Big Day Out with children able to drop in free of charge to try their hands at making pizzas.
A bar will be set up on the restaurant decking area for Uckfield Carnival and dough-balls will be sold there too.
Brendan hopes the restaurant will be involved in Late Night Shopping, as it was last year, with another drop-in pizza making session for children.
And the restaurant hosts and provides free teas and coffees for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning supported by the Uckfield Macmillan Cancer Support Committee each year.
Coincidentally Pizza Express is working nationally with Macmillan to boost fund-raising for the charity. For the last month and a half every restaurant has been raising money for them and millions of pounds have been collected for the cause.
Brendan said: “We look forward to welcoming people back into Pizza Express after the ten-day closure for refurbishment. Do call in to see what has been done, the restaurant is looking great.”
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