All the popular south Essex restaurants which have closed in the past two years

·3-min read
All the south Essex restaurants which have closed in the past two years
All the south Essex restaurants which have closed in the past two years

Towns across south Essex have lost a number of much-loved restaurants in recent years.

Bosses at Mangetout, a family run American-inspired restaurant and bar in Southend, made the shocking announcement yesterday that the business is shutting its doors.

The restaurant is moving into retirement after 16 years.

A spokesman for the restaurant revealed the news on Facebook, saying: "After an incredible 16 years, our family has decided that now is the time for Mangetout to turn off its grills, put down its cocktail shakers and move into retirement."

Read more >>> Family-run restaurant and bar shutting its doors after 16 years in Southend

As the popular eatery is set to close its doors on July 16, we're taking a look at the other much-loved south Essex restaurants which have shut down in the past two years - due to the Covid pandemic or other more personal reasons:

Wimpy restaurants in Basildon and Billericay

The Wimpy restaurant which had served customers for 50 years in Basildon shut down for good in November.

It was unclear what led to the closure, as a sign appeared on the door of the restaurant in South Walk, revealing the it had “closed permanently”.

It marked the end of an era for loyal customers and followed much loved owners Kash and Navjot Bhangal shutting up shop at the Wimpy in Billericay High Street in May last year after 30 years running the branch.

Reflecting on their retirement at the time, Mr Bhangal said: "This restaurant has been a big part of my life for such a long time and I have lots of regular customers and friends that I shall miss.

"I think there will be quite a few tears on our last day."

Pasta Pia

In October 2020, bosses at an Italian pasta restaurant in Southend revealed they had been forced to shut their doors due to the pressures of the pandemic.

Pasta Pia, in Clifftown Road, was unable to stay afloat because of the economic pressure caused by Covid.

In a message to customers, the owners said: "We would like to thank you all for your support over the years, but due to the current economic situation, we sadly decided to close our Southend Branch permanently.

"Our Westcliff branch remains open for business, we look forward to see you there.”

Bella Italia in Southend

Southend's Bella Italia revealed it would be closing in July 2020 as its owners entered administration.

The restaurant in London Road shut its doors to customers after Casual Dining Group, which owns the Italian chain, entered administration.

It was also announced a total of 1,909 jobs would be axed by the Casual Dining Group.

Read more >>> Cheapest places to fill up across south Essex as diesel 'perilously close' to £2 per litre

Pizza Express in Billericay

Pizza Express announced in September 2020 that 73 restaurants would close nationwide, including the Billericay High Street branch.

Bosses said the impact of the pandemic meant they had to make some incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term.

Zoe Bowley, Pizza Express's managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: "Unfortunately, the impact of the global pandemic has meant that we have had to make some incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term."

Ask Italian in Rayleigh

The High Street dine-in was another popular south Essex restaurant lost in September 2020.

In a statement, the firm said: “The Covid-19 crisis has hit the restaurant sector hard and we’ve had to make some incredibly difficult decisions.

“It is with deep sadness that we confirm Ask Italian Rayleigh is now closed.

“We’d like to thank our guests for their regular custom and let them know Ask Italian Billericay is now their closest restaurant.”

The closure came as a shock to councillor Chris Stanley who explained the restaurant was always busy and well-liked among residents.

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