Mamma Mia … Renowned Bradford Italian restaurant buys lease and announces refurbishment

Friday 7th November 2014

One of Bradford’s best-known Italian restaurants has provided a further pizza evidence that the city is bouncing back.

Gianni and Nella Massimo, the owners of Mamma Mia, at 3, Upper Piccadilly, have bought the lease on the 4,300 square foot ground floor of the four-storey building for £120,000. Occupied by the restaurant since the family founded it over 30 years ago, the ground floor will now undergo a comprehensive six-month refurbishment costing £80,000.

The lease was sold by the Johal Family, who own the SS Electrical stores in James Street, Bradford, and Stanningley Road, Armley, Leeds, the former site also including a Panasonic shop.

Explaining the reasons for the transaction, Mr Massimo said: “We had the opportunity to buy the lease on financially attractive terms, and doing so has given us significantly more flexibility over using the premises. The transaction also means we can now hand the business and its site on to our eldest son, who already works with us, alongside our nephew, who has been with us since he was a young boy, when we’re ready to do so.”

Mr and Mrs Massimo, originally from Naples, were advised on acquiring the lease by Simon Mydlowski, a partner in the commercial property team of Yorkshire law firm Gordons.

Commenting on Mr Mydlowski’s contribution, Mr Massimo said: “We like the old-fashioned, personal approach that Simon delivers. He comes to see us, understands our business and knows our family well. His learning curve for this transaction was therefore very short and we’d certainly recommend him and Gordons to other businesses.”

Mr and Mrs Massimo’s acquisition of the lease was part-funded by HSBC.

Mamma Mia’s boost for Bradford follows other significant positive news about the city’s future. This included the opening of the City Centre Growth Zone, a £35m initiative supporting new businesses and the expansion of existing enterprises. It also featured the announcement that Broadway Shopping Centre, containing 70 retail units, will open next year.

Mr Mydlowski said: “Acquiring the lease is great news not just for Gianni and Nella but all lovers of quality Italian food in the Bradford area. I’m sure the purchase, along with the refurbishment, will enable Mamma Mia to enjoy a future that’s even more successful than its past. We, at Gordons, certainly wish the business all the best, as it enters this exciting new era.”

Mamma Mia’s standard menu contains an extensive range of vegetarian dishes. In addition, the restaurant offers frequently-changing special dishes, featuring seasonal produce. It also provides an early bird menu for the first two hours of evening dining, offering value prices for two or three courses. Mamma Mia is open six evenings and five lunchtimes a week, with customers in the latter slots able to choose any pasta or pizza dish for £5.