Much-missed Bristol restaurant to make surprise comeback - on wheels

It closed last June after 42 years and customers are still missing it
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A popular Bristol restaurant that closed last year after more than 40 years is making a surprise comeback - but this time it will be a restaurant on wheels.

Italian restaurant La Grotta in Union Street, Broadmead, closed its doors in June 2023 after 42 years. The family-run business was started by Alfonso and Anita Merlino in 1981 and in recent years was run by their son Andrea.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When La Grotta closed, regular customers expressed their sadness and took to social media to share their happy memories of the beloved restaurant.

But now Andrea is bringing La Grotta back with a new mobile version of the legendary Bristol restaurant. He has converted a Renault Master low loader into a restaurant on wheels and plans to take it on the road around Bristol.

Andrea has secured several locations in the Bristol area to trade from including Bradley Stoke, Almondsbury, Easter Compton, Whitehall, Thornbury and Yate.

He says he will now be serving La Grotta’s award-winning pizzas and homemade cheesecakes for people to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.

The La Grotta Pizza Truck will be launching at the end of the monthThe La Grotta Pizza Truck will be launching at the end of the month
The La Grotta Pizza Truck will be launching at the end of the month
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new mobile business will also cater for weddings, birthdays, events and corporate functions, with bespoke menus.

Speaking to Bristol World, Andrea said: “After the whirlwind of last year with the closure of the restaurant, I took time to relax, reflect and enjoy some well needed time off. During this time, I realised that Italian food and cooking is in my soul and that I want to cook and feed people without having a bricks and mortar location.

“I now want to serve customers our delicious handmade pizza without the stress of opening and operating a restaurant. The restaurant on wheels keeps us in the game and the La Grotta name alive. I acknowledge that a lot of people will be disappointed that I’m not opening a restaurant but I feel like this is the next best thing and a more sustainable business model.”

The La Grotta Pizza Truck has eye-catching colour and branding. The new logo and graphic is a digital copy of an old hand-painted sign created in the 1980s.

Inside the new La Grotta pizza truckInside the new La Grotta pizza truck
Inside the new La Grotta pizza truck
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Andrea says: “I will be at every location once a month for two or three nights per week to hopefully keep it exciting for customers with weekends kept free for private bookings. 

“I am going to let it grow organically to start with so I can find my rhythm and we’ll be starting towards the end of this month.”

Keep an eye out on La Grotta’s new social media channels for upcoming locations and events throughout the spring and summer.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.