Chapel Allerton Casa Mia restaurant offers Pedego electric bike tours with a culinary twist

The decision to use the terrace in front of Casa Mia to promote the Pedego bikes sold through the second family business attracted a whole new set of customers and transformed the restaurant itself now that it is designed for dining. socially distant.

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Francesco Mazzella is the European distributor for American electric bicycle company Pedego, while his wife Marta runs the family’s popular Italian restaurant in Chapel Allerton.

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Pedego Europe distributor Francesco Mazzella with Pedro Cassana from Casa Mia. Photo: Gary Longbottom

The restaurant initially closed completely as per government advice, but soon set up a coffee stand offering collections and began delivering a selection of customer favorites.

Francesco said: “The bike shops were allowed to open so we looked at the patio outside and thought we had a perfect spot for a bike shop. We took the tables, removed the signs and we were busy from day one. “

While the easing of lockdown measures means restaurant patrons can once again sit inside, the need to be socially aloof has forced a significant reduction in capacity from over 100 to around 25.

But another dose of creative thinking turned the new layout and measurements into a topic of discussion in its own right.

Casa Mia in Chapel Allerton has now reopened. Photo: Gary Longbottom

“The bicycle is the model vehicle for social distancing, so we put a bicycle between each table,” Francesco said. “The response from customers has been brilliant.

“The repeat customers are so thrilled. They said the bikes look so beautiful. They’re like an art installation.”

In addition to offering the option of renting and purchasing e-bikes at the Chapel Allerton site, the two companies have also teamed up to design a series of bike tours.

A day trip takes participants along the canal to Rothwell before visiting a local vineyard and the Temple Newsam estate. From there, return to Casa Mia for a pasta masterclass and a three-course meal.

The manager of Casa Mia, Marta Mazzella, in the new location. Photo: Gary Longbottom

“It’s an incredible event,” said Francesco. “The feedback we’re getting from people on the tour, they’re absolutely thrilled.”

Other tours on offer include a walk to Harewood with a picnic lunch and a sunset visit to the Eccup Reservoir before enjoying a drink and snack at the restaurant.

Francesco said: “The great thing about e-bikes is that cyclists feel like kids again. They feel like they have the energy of a 19 year old.

“Leeds is really hilly. Without the e-bike, unless you’re really in good shape, you’ll have a hard time.”

Pedro Cassana serves ice cream to a Casa Mia customer. Photo: Gary Longbottom

As word of the combined business model spreads, other restaurants in West Yorkshire and beyond have requested information on ways to ensure they can still make a living while the ability to the clientele is limited.

Francesco added: “People have seen what we have done and want to convert their restaurant into a bicycle shop.”

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