Express & Star

Food Review: Colossal pizzas worth a peep at Peepo, Bridgnorth

It’s been almost 13 years since businessman Phil Jeffrey opened Peepo, a café, bar, and casual dining restaurant in Bridgnorth. During that time, he’s had the matter of a global pandemic to deal with, which forced the closure of his restaurant.

A mucho meat pizza

Then there’s been Brexit, and the soaring costs of energy, caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, in addition to the profiteering of greedy oil corporations.

There has also been the cost of living crisis which has made it harder for people to eat out.

Funny thing is, Phil Jeffrey is still standing, and smiling, and thriving.

Peepo is one of the restaurants that the region can really celebrate. Adaptable, in-tune with customer expectations, populated by a decent team that’s been built over a period of years, and with a guy at the helm who invests time, love, and energy – as well as hard cash – into his venture.

Peepo, in Bridgnorth

The fact that it’s survived at all means Jeffrey is deserving of a medal. The fact that it’s so popular with locals and those from further afield shows the acumen that Jeffrey has.

On a Monday evening this week, it was half full – and that’s on a day when most, sane restaurateurs are sitting at home, counting their money from the weekend and trying to forget the fact that they’ve got to go back to work on Wednesday.

Jeffrey and his team were patrolling the floor of a restaurant that’s changed through its near 13-year history.

The present iteration feels like a festival – it’s all bunting and bright colours, a thrillingly laid-back reggae soundtrack, and staff who offer service with a smile.

Gone is the Peepo Lambretta-style scooter and in its place are small booths in which people can eat safely and happily, without overhearing too much conversation from their neighbours.

It’s a friendly joint, and one that’s as likely to welcome a local cub scout who’s popped in for tea with mum before learning how to erect a tent as it is young lovers, old timers, friends enjoying sustenance after work or a party crowd looking for kicks.

A flower power interior

A restaurant that appeals to all-comers, it’s honed its menu over time and so now has fewer choices – eschewing the ‘we-serve-every-type-of-fast-food’ approach that it adopted, for a little while.

The present menu focuses on pizzas, pasta, and a few Asian-inspired dishes, as well as comforting sides.

It’s a party-friendly menu, featuring the sort of snacks and dishes that M&S serves in party packs at Christmas.

The opening hours are long – observing the first rule of retail: keep the shop open. And so at the weekend, there’s a breakfast menu of eggy bread, buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and bacon, a full English, or poached eggs on sourdough with avocado, chilli and lime.

There are numerous meal deals – at lunchtimes, people can eat for under £7 or enjoy two courses for less than a tenner, which, frankly, is less than it costs to buy a decent ready-meal at the local supermarket.

There are kids menus, too, helping to make the venue family friendly and encouraging youngsters to eat out with their parents.

Peepo’s chef has been on board for six years, giving the venue a level of consistency that many other outlets lack and, together with Phil’s ever-present service, the venue has a strong backbone upon which it can rely.

I called without booking and had a choice of seats.

Parking myself to the rear of the restaurant, I started with the complimentary bowl of crisps with dips before enjoying a platter of salt and pepper squid with a sweet chilli sauce and a balsamic-dressed salad of iceberg, tomato, and cucumber.

Squid with sweet chilli

It was fine – not the best I’ve eaten – but the lightly seasoned squid offered a little heat while the sweet chilli was pleasantly warming and nicely sticky.

The mains mostly focus on pizzas and pastas and I tucked into a mucho meat feast, which was delicious.

Decent, creamy mozzarella topped a generously-stacked pizza that featured pepperoni, pork sausage, beef bolognaise sauce, pesto chicken, ham, and a tart tomato sauce. It was colossal and the base had been nicely scorched around the edges.

Service was good throughout – Phil was working the floor alongside a diligent and friendly waitress, whose eagerness to please customers made patrons feel at home.

And while the desserts looked appetising – who doesn’t like a slice of warm, Bramley apple pie, or a filling trillionaire’s tart? – the generously-served pizza had rendered me replete.

If any budding restaurateurs are thinking of opening a restaurant, they could do no better than learn from the case study of Peepo.

With an owner who is ever-present and nurtures his business as a loving parent would a child, it’s been smart in the way it goes about things.

Catering to those with dietary requirements – real, and imagined – and staying one step ahead of the competition, Peepo is a venue where guests feel at home.

Phil spent most of the evening talking to regulars, engaging in chat about this and that, remembering people’s names, and further embedding himself in the local community.

The restaurant has survived the region’s ever-changing food fashions, pivoting this way and that as different dishes become fashionable.

Phil has built a good team, and a strong business, that has been able to weather the toughest of shocks.

And he’s done that with a smile, making himself the welcoming face of one of the town’s best independent restaurants.

He’s almost 13 years in and it’s easy to see him continuing for a few decades more, until the time comes for a well-earned rest.



84-85 High Street,


WV16 4DS

01746 766220

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