One of South Woodford’s best loved family run restaurants has closed its doors for the last time.

Nuovo in High Road has been sold to Tasty Plc, the company that founded the Ask and Zizzi chains.

Laura Unthank, 46, Nuovo’s owner, has recently become a grandmother to twins and said she had taken the decision to allow her to concentrate her energies on Nuovo’s other branch in Buckhurst Hill.

She has run a restaurant on the South Woodford site for 20 years, converting the building which used to house Lloyds Bank into ‘Jailhouse Rock’ in 1993 before expanding and reopening as Nuovo in 2006.

She said: “Of course there are some mixed emotions for me, I am very attached to the place and it is a bit of a sad moment.

“But Tasty Plc have been trying to buy the site for a number of years and in the end we just received an offer which was too good to refuse.”

Mrs Unthank said she was looking forward to welcoming her regular customers to her other restaurant in Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill.

She said: “The important thing to say is that all the faces people know - Luis our general manager,  Saci the manager and the rest of the team - will still be a big part of Nuovo.

“We are planning to expand the Buckhurst Hill restaurant but it will still have a genuinely family run feel and we can't wait to welcome people to it.

“This is not the end of an era, it is the beginning of a new one.”