Leicester’s restaurant scene has taken another hit today, as Italian restaurant chain ASK has confirmed to LeicestershireLive that its city branch has closed for good.
The restaurant, in Silver Street, closed due to the coronavirus lockdown in March, and has not reopened since.
Confirming the restaurant’s permanent closure, an ASK spokesperson told LeicestershireLive: “The Covid-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the casual dining sector, bringing many businesses like ours to a standstill.
“Despite being a successful operator, we have had to make some incredibly difficult decisions including the permanent closure of a number of sites.
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“It is with deep sadness that we confirm Leicester to be amongst these closures and that we have had to say goodbye to a team of greatly valued employees and their much-loved customers.
“As things stand it was not viable to remain in our existing site, but we do hope that one day we will return to the town.”
News of the closure follows an announcement made in July by The Azzuri Group, which owned the ASK Italian and Zizzi pizza chains.
It said that it would not reopen around 75 of its restaurants following the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in the loss of up to 1,200 jobs.
The Azzuri Group was taken over by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which planned to keep open 225 restaurants and shops, protecting 5,000 jobs.
ASK is one of a number of Leicester restaurants to have recently closed for good.
Just last week, MOD Pizza confirmed to LeicestershireLive that its Leicester branch would not be reopening.
The Leicester branches of Coast to Coast, Carluccio’s, Cafe Rouge, and Handmade Burger Co have all closed permanently this year.