A PizzaExpress superfan has officially opened their latest restaurant in Andover – only ten months after he asked them to come to the town so he could enjoy his favourite meals nearer to his home.
George de Watteville, aged 55, of nearby Longparish, officially opened the new restaurant in Andover High Street on Wednesday 10th February by helping to make the first pizza – his favourite, the Classic Diavolo – a dish he has eaten hundreds of times before at PizzaExpress restaurants throughout the country.
Father of six, George, a building society executive, regularly eats at PizzaExpress with his family. “I wrote to PizzaExpress last April suggesting they consider Andover as a potential location. It is a rapidly growing town, surrounded my numerous charming villages full of families with children. We were travelling 30 to 40 minutes away to enjoy a PizzaExpress meal. Now it’s just 10 minutes away. Ideal!”
George first went to PizzaExpress in London 30 years ago. He has since visited hundreds and always searches to find a PizzaExpress when away from home. While in India over Christmas, he ate at the PizzaExpress in Mumbai and celebrated New Year’s Eve there.
“The draw of PizzaExpress is the great combination of the place, the product and, most importantly, the people. I am passionate about the consistent attention to detail, quality of the ingredients, the décor and the staff. It’s a pure genius organisation,” said George.
PizzaExpress Operations Manager for Andover, Gemma Cato, said: “We regard George as our Number One Fan. George and his family are just delightful to talk to. Every time I walk away from a conversation with him, I’m reminded of why we do what we do.”
As part of the official opening, George was presented with a special PizzaExpress apron and hat.
The new restaurant, which can seat 127 people, means jobs for 30 new team members, including 8 pizzaiolos and 15 waiters and waitresses. An estimated 550 kilos of dough will be used in the first month as the team prepares to serve up 3,500 pizzas and 2,500 portions of PizzaExpress’ iconic Dough Balls.
Each PizzaExpress restaurant is individually designed – often using well known places, people or historical events from the area as the basis. Artwork at the new restaurant has been inspired by rock band, The Troggs, who were formed in Andover in 1964, and memorabilia and vinyl discs of their famous singles, such as Wild Thing and Love is All Around, are displayed.
Wesley Taylor, manager of PizzaExpress Andover, said, “We have a beautiful new restaurant and can’t wait to show it off to our customers. We have a friendly and enthusiastic team who are looking forward to welcoming everyone over a delicious pizza.”
The opening coincides with the introduction of seasonal specials such as a macaroni and cheese style Pennette Formaggi, hot spiced beef Calzone Diavolo and Treacle Tart Cheesecake.
For younger pizza-lovers, PizzaExpress’ Piccolo menu is full of tasty choices including ‘Create Your Own’ pizza, and starts at just £3.95.
For more details visit www.pizzaexpress.com
You can download a FREE voucher for a THIRD off your meal at Pizza Express, by clicking HERE – https://www.andoverandvillages.co.uk/andover-good-food-guide/good-food-guide/3810-free-pizza-express-voucher-for-andover-and-villages-readers