Pizza Pilgrims, the London-based sourdough pizzeria concept, is to open its first standalone site in the City, after securing the recently closed former Temple & Sons unit, MCA has learnt.

The eight-strong group, which already operates a unit with the Swingers site in the City, expects to open the new site in Old Broad Street by early October.

The company, which is led by brothers Thom and James Elliott also has openings lined up at London Bridge and The Cut, Waterloo, subject to planning.

It opened its first regional site last October in the Westgate scheme in Oxford.

Earlier this year, the company further strengthened its management team with the appointment of Gavin Smith, formerly of Wahaca, as its new operations director

Smith joined Wahaca in 2014 as its first regional operations director. He was formerly operations manager of Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) brand Browns.

Earlier this week, MCA revealed that the Jason Atherton-run Temple & Sons had closed its doors.

In April, owners Restaurant Associates told MCA there was no truth in the rumours that the restaurant, in Tower 42 in the City, was to shut. At that point, the group said a review was being carried out, with changes to be made to the opening times and menus. This included not opening at weekends.

The restaurant opened in November 2016, with an 80-cover grill restaurant and 40-cover all-day deli set across two floors.

A spokeswoman for Restaurant Associates and Jason Atherton said: “In order to focus on other areas of our ongoing partnership, we have taken the decision to close Temple and Sons. We are firm believers in chef and restaurant partnerships, championing exciting opportunities and we’re looking forward to our continued work at Michelin-starred City Social and throughout other areas of the Restaurant Associates business.”

Last week Atherton closed his Sosharu restaurant in Clerkenwell, saying the location had made it difficult to generate the footfall to sustain the high rents.

Cushman & Wakefield acted on the Temple & Sons deal.