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Tel: 0117 930 0239
How it all began

In 1965, the simple dream of a visionary English food lover was born – and so too was the first PizzaExpress.

After leaving university in search of adventure, Peter Boizot travelled – and ate! – his way around Europe on a shoestring budget. Inspired by the mouthwatering simplicity of the classic pizza he encountered on the road, Peter set out to reinvent the Italian pizzeria for a British audience.

Back in his home town of London, he sourced the finest ingredients, a traditional pizza oven – and even an Italian pizzaiolo to operate it – all with the intention of recreating the dish which he knew would become a hit in his homeland if only it were made to the highest traditional standards.

Since day one, when the very first PizzaExpress opened in Soho’s Wardour Street, Peter’s quiet revolution has been founded on simple core values: the finest ingredients; eye-catching design; friendly and efficient service – all wrapped up with the passion for pizza which infuses everything we do at PizzaExpress.

Passion for pizza

The strength of Peter’s vision attracted a loyal following from the outset. Though it began life in the mould of an informal Pizza Rustica, the Soho PizzaExpress soon traded in plastic forks for metal cutlery, aware that customers wanted creature comforts as well as the best food in town.

With a growing band of devotees providing a solid foundation for the business, Peter soon decided it was time to take the next step and opened a second restaurant in London’s Coptic Street.

To help him in the task, Peter employed one of his more flamboyant Italian friends, the master designer Enzo Apicella. It was Enzo’s artistic flair and passion that lent the old Express Dairy building an air of solid sophistication. Its cool, tiled walls added to the unique atmosphere, emphasising the clink of cutlery, the ‘glug’ of wine bottles and the tinkle of good music – all sure sounds of a satisfying and sociable evening. These striking acoustics also helped forge PizzaExpress’s longstanding relationship with live music, providing the perfect venue for The Original String Quartet.

With just two branches open, Peter and Enzo knew that they had hit on something – trademark open kitchens, live jazz and artistic licence – the passion was everywhere to be seen and had become the iconic ingredient in the PizzaExpress success story.