The Jam Tree extends food-led pub estate to Clapham

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: London

The Jam Tree has opened its third food-led pub in Clapham which has a menu containing a number of dishes also available in its Kensington and Chelsea sites including thyme and habanero roasted pumpkin salad
The Jam Tree has opened its third food-led pub in Clapham which has a menu containing a number of dishes also available in its Kensington and Chelsea sites including thyme and habanero roasted pumpkin salad
Privately-owned gastropub group The Jam Tree has continued its expansion plans by opening its third venue in as many years last week with a new site in Clapham; it joins two existing sites in Chelsea and Kensington.

The 150-cover Jam Tree Clapham launched on Thursday 13 September in a 3,000 sq.ft site on Old Town in the south west London district - making it the largest pub in the group which launched near Kensington Olympia in 2010.

"It is quite a challenge for everyone in terms of organisation of bookings and adapting to the volume but the same principles apply to a 20-cover restaurant as they do to a 200-cover one," Yann Roberts, The Jam Tree joint founder and co-owner, told BigHospitality.

Gastropub

Roberts, who revealed the pub had more than 250 people booked in on the first Saturday since opening, explained the menu and quirky design of the venue would keep to the brand identity the team were looking to build for The Jam Tree but said the term 'gastropub' could be a misleading way of describing the concept.

"Sometimes a gastropub is basically a restaurant whereas we are not a formal restaurant environment.

"I would say we are a contemporary pub group. You can come for a pint, which in certain gastropubs you wouldn't be able to do. We deliver restaurant quality food but we don't have any airs and graces. My staff aren't in uniforms - they wear their own clothes. It is supposed to be informal." 

The Clapham outpost for the group has an all-day menu, created by group executive chef James Browne, which features mains including Caribbean curried goat, pan-fried John Dory and sharing plates with an average price point of around £15.

The drinks menu includes beers, wines and cocktails including the signature Jam Mojito.

Further growth

Clapham is the third opening in as many years for The Jam Tree and Roberts, who has experience in the hospitality industry running a number of nightclubs including Pacha London, said the brand, and the high-end food-led pub concept generally, had room to grow further.

"What this recession has done is separate the wheat from the chaff to an extent. It is not as easy business-wise but if you are good, passionate and deliver good quality you can progress.

"We have opened three sites in three years and we are hoping to carry on with that trend. Not to say we wouldn't expand a little quicker or consider looking to purchase a small pub group if it was the right sites - I am open to both."

Roberts and co-founder Ashley Letchford are backed by a small group of investors that continue to invest in each individual site - a situation the pair do not see changing in the near future. 

"We know west and south London pretty well but we are not going to restrict ourselves to those areas. You have to judge it on a site by site basis - we probably go by demographics more than areas. We don't want to dilute the quality or the price point so we want to stay in areas where we think people could afford to come to our sites regularly," he said.

Related topics: Business, Pubs & Bars, Venues

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