Award-winning Bristol restaurant Pasta Loco closes its doors permanently

The owners blame the council’s handling of the Cotham Hill pedestrianisation scheme
Dominic Borel and Ben Harvey has closed Pasta Loco after seven yearsDominic Borel and Ben Harvey has closed Pasta Loco after seven years
Dominic Borel and Ben Harvey has closed Pasta Loco after seven years

One of Bristol’s most popular restaurants has shut its doors, with the owners citing the council’s handling of the local pedestrianisation scheme as one of the reasons behind the closure.

Pasta Loco on Cotham Hill has ceased trading after seven years, with owners Ben Harvey and Dominic Borel claiming the rising costs and increased rents among the reasons for closing.

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But the owners say the ‘final nail’ is the ‘manner in which the city council have conducted themselves’ with the Cotham Hill pedestrianisation scheme.

Dominic Borel said: “Initially, two years ago, we were all for the scheme. Permission to extend the dining area has, without doubt, been a proactive factor for our business and we are grateful for this.

“However, the entire process from then until now has been poorly managed, terribly communicated and littered with awful decision making.

“Finally, to be notified that the scheme will complete over the summer and that all retailers are to take down their external structures and remove seating at the busiest time of the year, is the death knell for us.

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“While we understand the need to complete the project, the absence of any consultation and partnership working is glaring; we have been allocated enough space for two outside tables, as a cycle lane will go through the centre of the road.

“We know that the loss in covers would mean letting go of nearly half our staff. Ultimately, this option was unacceptable to us so we have taken the hard decision to close and take our business elsewhere.”

The owners say they will now concentrate their efforts on their other restaurants including Sorella and Pasta Ripiena in St Stephen’s Street and Bianchi’s in Montpelier.

Bristol World has contacted Bristol City Council for comment.

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