London bus becomes rural village restaurant

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Many of London’s buses have found further life after passenger service, and besides those which go on to serve other operators, many find a future as bars, classrooms and mobile catering outlets. The roughly 645 residents in the French village of Heidwiller, on the Franco-Swiss border now have a new pizza restaurant, housed in former London Leyland Titan T341, thanks to chemical industry worker turned restauranteur Matthieu Mentzer. Having always been fond of London, after starting his own Mousquetaires Pizza business, he decided to take things to the next level and acquired the bus, which was new in 1981 and ran on route 52 between Willesden and Victoria until 1997.

Mattieu spent €80,000 overhauling the bus, including the installation of a wood-fired pizza oven. He chose to retain the bench-type seating, rearranged into bays around tables, and repained the bus in classic red. The bus was installed in its new home alongside the Rhine-Rhone canal at the end of January after a 1,100 mile journey.

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