Bromsgrove pizza restaurant expands into former gym

Photo shows: Ben Truslove of John Truslove (right) with Vicky and Ben Ascott
JT Ascotts

More jobs are on the way in Bromsgrove as the family behind a popular pizza restaurant expands into the former gym next door, opening a new bar and eaterie.

Ben Ascott and his wife Vicky have taken on the onetime gym, which will operate as Ascott’s@Fuso, sharing kitchen and front-of-house staff with their Fuso Italian restaurant next door.

It gives the couple the large corner site at 148 New Road, Aston Fields, and will see them hiring another 15 staff to work alongside their existing 15-strong team at Fuso.

The popularity of the Italian restaurant, with its own wood-fired pizza oven, had seen them having to limit customers to a two-hour stay because of the restricted space, but the expansion will almost double the number of customers they can serve.

“Now we will be able to offer a wide range of home cooked ‘street food’ and comfort dishes from around the world at Ascott’s as an alternative,” said Ben Ascott.

“It will also mean customers from Fuso will be able to come next door for an after-dinner drink.

“We will have a range of craft beers and lagers behind the bar and are currently working on pairings – matching the beers to particular dishes.

“We can cater for around 45 customers at Fuso and will be able to serve an extra 40 with the new expansion.”

Ben started his restaurant career at Pizza Hut in Bromsgrove when he was just 16, and Vicky joined him working in the industry when she left college. Working with Ben’s family, the couple ran a fish and chip shop for a decade at Lickey Hills as well as a pizzeria.

They opened Fuso in December 2017, “but we always had an eye on the corner premises,” said Ben.

When it fell vacant Ben and Vicky, with the help of Ben Truslove of John Truslove, sealed a deal with the landlord and started a major conversion and refurbishment of the building in January last year.

“This has been a labour of love for us. There is clearly a strong demand in the area for family-run restaurants offering good, affordable food.”

Ben Truslove, joint managing director of John Truslove, said: “Ben and Vicky are experienced restaurateurs who clearly understand their market and know how to keep their customers happy. I am sure these premises are the ingredient that will complete the recipe for their success. This will be a bright addition to the restaurant scene in Bromsgrove, adding to the attraction of the town.”