Gusto Italian director to open pizza concept at Leeds pub

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Mucho gusto: Well Oiled Detroit-style pizza will be on offer at Ed Mason’s (pictured left) Meanwood Tavern pub
Mucho gusto: Well Oiled Detroit-style pizza will be on offer at Ed Mason’s (pictured left) Meanwood Tavern pub

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Detroit-style pizza concept Well Oiled is slated to open at pub and brewery entrepreneur Ed Mason’s Meanwood Tavern pub in Leeds in October.

Mason, who is co-founder and managing director of east London brewer and pub operator The Five Points Brewing Company, is also behind Whitelock’s Ale House, which is claimed to be the oldest pub in Leeds.

Five Points opened a taproom in London Fields​ in November last year and also operates the Pembury Tavern in Hackney, which was a finalist in the Great British Pub Awards​ in 2019.

Investment attracted

The Meanwood Tavern was acquired by Mason in May 2022 with the intention of operating under its East of Arcadia moniker​ for a couple of months before undergoing a refurbishment and relaunching under the new name in autumn this year.

Well Oiled is owned by former Gusto Italian marketing director James Newman and started life as a pop-up but has now attracted investment from Mason. 

Offering both slices and whole pizzas, Well Oiled will take a multi-channel approach and sell its pizza via dine-in, click and collect, self-fulfilled delivery and third-party delivery. 

Development and pop-ups

Newman said Detroit pizza is currently the fastest growing pizza trend in the US and is just starting to “trickle” into the UK and said: “Following two years of development and pop-ups, we couldn’t think of a better partnership than with Ed and his team to launch Well Oiled. We’re the first to market here in Leeds and we plan quite quickly to drive suburban interest before setting up shop in the city centre next year.”

Baked in rectangular steel pans imported from the US, Well Oiled’s Detroit pizzas are made using a focaccia-style dough and feature “plentiful premium toppings from local British producers and house-made fermented and pickled ingredients”.

Mason added: “We were attracted to James’s passion and commitment to his brilliant pizza concept – our team taste tested in his development kitchen and were blown away by the attention to detail and quality of the ingredients. James has developed a brilliant concept and I am excited to be partnering with him for the long term.”

Newman is currently looking to expand Well Oiled into Leeds city centre in 2023 and plans to grow the brand to five sites during the next few years.

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