New tapas restaurant team won over by ‘beautiful Hitchin’

Coming to Hitchin soon: Bar Azita's owners Nick and Julie Pike

Coming to Hitchin soon: Bar Azita's owners Nick and Julie Pike - Credit: Archant

A flavour of Andalucia is on the menu for Hitchin, with a new addition to the town centre’s booming eating out scene set to open early next month.

The Bar Azita restaurant and tapas bar is now taking shape in the Bucklersbury premises previously occupied by The Brick Rooms, and home for many years to Bar Meze.

Bringing the tastes of Southern Spain to the town centre are Nick and Julie Pike, who already operate a restuarant of the same name in Harpenden.

The couple are originally from Doncaster and ran a care home in Yorkshire before selling up and moving to Granada, the Andalucian city famous for the Alhambra citadel and its Moorish heritage.

After five years abroad they returned to the UK in 2007, and went into business with an independent restaurant that captured the laid-back Mediterranean style of eating.

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Nick said: “Our specialities of healthy and simple charcoal grilled food proved so popular we opened a tapas and cocktail bar in the adjacent premises in 2012 – and we’ve now decided to open our second site. We chose Hitchin because it is a lovely town with a real sense of community.

“We had a good look around when choosing a site, and we were won over by the town’s charm. We do like Hitchin, it’s very beautiful.

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“We have exciting plans for Bar Azita, which will be heavily influenced by the Andalucia region.

“We plan to draw on our time there both in the decor and design and the succulent food we will be offering.

“We’re very community-minded, and we also believe in good hospitality, which is reflected in the way we host our customers – it’s one of the fundamental cores of our business.

“One of the joys of dining out in the Med is the fact it’s very inclusive for all the family – and we want to replicate that feeling in Hitchin.

“We also do bespoke cocktails – and we will have to create one especially for Hitchin!”

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