Traders and civic officials have spoken of their shock after a town centre restaurant suddenly closed its doors.
A dispute between landlord and tenant has been cited after diners arrived at Cucina Pazzo in St Annes to find a sign proclaiming that the locks had been changed, the lease forfeited and any attempt to re-enter the building ‘would constitute a trespass’.
The restaurant in St Andrew’s Road South remained closed through St Annes Carnival weekend – one of the busiest periods in town all year – and Ernesto Sciarillo, of the building’s owners Cucina Pazzo Ltd said that various options were now being looked into regarding the future of the premises.
The business was initially put up for auction through estate agents Savills last Thursday but later withdrawn and Mr Sciarillo told The Gazette that it was still hoped to sell the premises as a going concern.
The Sciarillo family operated Italian restaurant Cucina Pazzo in the former Mammas Too premises themselves for some 15 months before leasing the eaterie to new operators Fiesta Retail in January this year.
Although the eaterie’s name – Italian for ’Crazy Kitchen’ – remained unchanged, the new operators introduced a menu covering other food options from around the world.
Mr Sciarillo said that the business hadn’t proved as successful as they had hoped.
He said: “Our initial intention was to take on the building and let it out to a restaurant operator but there were no takers and we decided to run it ourselves. That was the case for the first 15 months or so and we were happy doing that until we were made an offer to take on the running of the restaurant, which we accepted.
“Now, we will have to see what the future holds.”
Coun Ed Nash, who held a number of fund-raising events at Cucina Pazzo during his year as town mayor of St Annes, said: “It is always sad to see a restaurant closed but for me, this goes very much
against the general picture in St Annes, where the restaurant scene is thriving.
“Now that the refurbishment of Park Road has been completed by Fylde Council, St Andrew’s Road South is next and the aim is to make an even more attractive destination and it will be a shame if Cucina Pazzo is not part of that.”
No-one from Fiesta Retail was available for comment.