Firezza co-founder Ado Medjedovic has returned to the pizza restaurant industry with the launch of a new concept Estro in Tunbridge Wells, MCA has learnt.

Medjedovic has taken a c70 cover, former Strada site on 76 Mount Pleasant Road for his first site under the concept, which opens today.

Estro, which has the tagline ‘pizza & more’, will serve stone-baked Neapolitan-style pizza, as well as pasta, salad, beef burgers and chicken burgers, with delivery to be managed in-house.

Medjedovic, who has been subject to a two-year non-compete clause following his exit from Firezza, said he was undecided on whether he would roll out the concept, but added consumers preferred independent-style restaurants to branded chains, and suggested he could open variations of the concept under different names.

He told MCA he had sold the sites under his Brighton-based Pan Asian delivery concept Mye Mye, and had discontinued the concept.

Medjedovic’s Firezza co-founder Edin Basic has also returned to pizza, going into partnership with Santa Maria for a pizza pub concept at The Red Lion in Ealing, and launching new concept Mano Pizza in Norway.

Medjedovic told MCA: “At the moment I don’t have plans to expand – I would like to keep this as an independent. I think this what customers appreciate, rather than a big chain – though the site is next to Wagamama, Carluccio’s and Prezzo.

“At the moment I’m concentrating on making this one a success – maybe in the future I will expand, but nothing in the first year. I may seek investment and depending how it goes, open more independents, possibly under a different name.

“Variety in the menu is key, rather than going pure Italian. Here we are concentrating on quality of food.”