Cease Trading Statement
It is with a heavy heart that we are today announcing the closure of Pasta Loco.
We will cease trading immediately and seek help through an insolvency company in the final matters
of our business.
Pasta Loco was the realisation of a dream, we do not use this phrase lightly. Growing up in a family of
Italian heritage here in Bristol, we knew what authentic hospitality and good food was from the start.
From those early foundations our aspirations grew and, after decades of working for others, we finally
got the keys to our own restaurant and Pasta Loco was born.
The venue on Cotham Hill had been a ‘greasy spoon' for many years, unkempt and unloved, as such,
the renovation was gruelling. With monumental support from our family and specifically our dads,
Mike and Carlos and, despite our shoestring budget, we opened the doors andstarted serving fresh
pasta within a couple months. We hit the ground running and our dream became a successful reality
Many people doubted that Ben’s vision for a fresh pasta restaurant had a place on the Bristol food
scene. Pasta Loco proved that place existed and gave our team the confidence to grow; Pasta
Ripiena followed, then Sorella (now Cotto), then Bianchis, with Pizza Bianchi following on after the
pandemic. We now have over 80 employees who are well paid and a company culture that
deliberately prioritises opportunity and a healthy work/life balance.
So why then are we closing our doors?
It is well known the difficulties that our industry is facing; energy costs are triple what they were, the
rising cost of labour, huge increases on core ingredients and, regrettably, landlords hiking the rent to
unjustifiably high levels, which, sadly, has been the case at Pasta Loco. These elements are all major
factors in our decision to close.
The final nail in the coffin is the manner in which the City Council have conducted themselves with the
Cotham Hill pedestrianisation scheme. Initially, two years ago, we were all for the scheme.
Permission to extend the dining area has, without doubt, been a protective 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 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.
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 through the centre of the road. We know that the loss in coverswould mean letting go
of nearly half of our staff. Ultimately, this option was unacceptable to us, so we have taken the hard
decision to close and take our business elsewhere.
We would like to thank all of our customers, those who have been with us from the beginning and who
those we’re just getting to know. All of you are Loco-family to us. You have supported our business,
eaten numerous plates of home-made pasta in our restaurant and, above all, cared about our
dilemma. It’s your commitment to us that has kept us going, day in, day out.
We want to thank our phenomenal staff who have worked hard to reflect our mission and values as a
company, and have turned up every day despite the whirlwind of uncertainty that our industry is in.
Pasta Loco has been a joyous ride from the start and will always be our first love, it’s hard to walk
away but we know in our hearts that thetime is right. One door shuts and another will open. Pasta
Loco, our first restaurant, has laid a very special foundation; we will rise and build on we have learnt,
loved and created.
From Ben and Dom, with all our love and respect. xx