Baffi Pizza, an Italian restaurant based opposite Sainsbury’s in Portswood, has been forced to shut due to doubled rent prices as well as rising business rates.
The restaurant had been serving Neapolitan style pizza since 2017 after replacing the Barclays that used to be there. The eatery is part of a family owned business with multiple branches. Despite much negotiation with the Landlord agency based in London, an agreement was not met, and the restaurant could not pay the rent they were now requesting. Whilst some staff have been relocated to the other branches, four front of house staff members lost their jobs.
Many have spoken out about this, with Portswood councillor, Gordon Cooper, saying,
Any business closing on Portswood High Street is to be regretted. I’m very concerned that the high street remains vibrant and encourage other businesses to apply for trade there, in order to keep it as a place people want to go to. We have to think creatively about how to use the high street in the future.
The director of Baffi Pizza, Harriet Ellis, also spoke out about the closure stating how they were disappointed to have to close the restaurant that students had been so loyal to and that they are hoping to relocate somewhere in Portswood if possible.