A NEW vegan pizza restaurant has opened in Hove.

Purezza is now serving up plant-based pizzas from a “beautiful new space” in Western Road, where Patisserie Valerie once stood.

The owners said they wanted a sister restaurant to accompany the Purezza’s original branch in St James’s Street, Brighton, and they are also planning to expand across the country.

This will be the company’s third site. The St James’s Street venue opened in 2015 and a second pizzeria followed in Camden, London, in 2018.

With demand for meat-free pizzas booming, the brand tripled the size of its London restaurant earlier this year.

Co-owner Tim Barclay said: “Brighton and Hove is our home.

“We opened our Brighton branch here in 2015 and we have thrived in this wonderful city thanks to its amazing community.

“As Purezza accelerates plans for nationwide expansion, we also wanted to provide a sister restaurant in our hometown – a beautiful new space that allows us to serve more award-winning pizzas to people across the city every single day. We’ve been working hard to get the new restaurant ready whilst also building a strong team to operate the restaurant and we look forward to serving Hove.”

The new restaurant is spread across two floors and will allow Purezza to deliver to Hove and Portslade.

Mr Barclay previously told The Argus the coronavirus crisis had not scuppered the restaurant’s bid to expand.

He said: “This year was always set to be a big year for Purezza and, while the coronavirus crisis was an unforeseen challenge, it won’t affect our plans.”

Purezza has been unfazed by disaster in the past.

Last year, thieves broke into the restaurant and made off with the cash register – only to find the business was cash free.

Manager Anna Kearney-Greig said: “We went cash free in February – we don’t use the thing any more.

“They didn’t make off with much. We’re just baffled. Obviously the restaurant is a home for us all here, and it’s really sad, but we can have a little giggle about it.”