Jamie Oliver to open first Union Jacks site outside London

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Union jacks, London

Jamie Oliver opened the first Union Jacks at Central St Giles Piazza with another to come in Chiswick and now Winchester - photo credit David Loftus
Jamie Oliver opened the first Union Jacks at Central St Giles Piazza with another to come in Chiswick and now Winchester - photo credit David Loftus
Jamie Oliver has acquired a site in Winchester for the first Union Jacks restaurant outside London it has been confirmed, while the successful Italian casual dining concept Jamie’s Italian will see five more openings before Autumn amid plans for a further venture at Gatwick Airport.

A 25-year lease has been taken out on a High Street site in the Hampshire city with the restaurant set to open in the Summer.

A spokeswoman for Jamie Oliver told BigHospitality they felt the time was right to make the move to expand the British food and wood-fired flatbread restaurant concept outside London.

“Winchester is a beautiful city and we feel we’ve found a fantastic site for the restaurant. We have had some great feedback from the first Union Jacks in London and so hopefully we can bring something really special to the city,” she said.

Chiswick in March

The Hampshire base will be the third for the latest restaurant concept from the celebrity chef who only launched Union Jacks at Central St Giles Piazza in London’s West End in November 2011. Later that month BigHospitality reported Jamie Bianco Ltd, the company co-owned by Oliver and Chris Bianco, his pizza chef partner on Union Jacks, had acquired a site for a second restaurant​ on the Chiswick High Road.

After taking out an 18-year lease on the former Relish Restaurants French Kitchen restaurant the second Union Jacks will open on 26 March. It is understood the company may open up more sites this year dependent on other suitable locations.

Jamie’s Italian expansion

The latest developments for Union Jacks come at a time of further expansion in the UK of the successful Italian restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian. A site in St Albans is due to open imminently with a City Centre restaurant to follow in Manchester with openings also planned for Norwich, York and Edinburgh before Autumn.

A spokeswoman confirmed the company are also finalizing plans for “an exciting new venture at Gatwick” with the airport restaurant expected to be the first of a possible move into transport hubs for the concept. The move would follow a review that Gatwick Airport is running into its food and beverage offer with consultancy firm Davis Coffer Lyons currently advising the airport on the matter.

The mid-market chain announced in January 2011 that the restaurants were trading above expectations and in March the managing director Simon Blagden was awarded the Best Individual prize at the Retailer’s Retailer of the Year awards organized by BigHospitality’s sister title M&C report.

Oliver admitted in a video interview for BigHospitality that his life was so busy it was akin to “wrestling an octopus”​.

Union Jacks is expected to open in Winchester by the Summer.

Related topics: Business, People, Restaurants, Venues

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