Following news that Jamie’s Italian has finalised its Company Voluntary Agreement, Eater London understands that the celebrated chef’s restaurant group will close two further sites. Barbecoa Piccadilly and Barbecoa One New Change have also been put on the market, as reported by MCA Insight.
These additional closures join the four Jamie’s sites on the market in London: Kingston, Threadneedle St, Greenwich, and the Piccadilly Diner. As the closures would be connected to the CVA, the restaurant group’s reassurance that it is “looking to redeploy as many staff as possible” should hold water for these two large sites. It’s notable too that a third Barbecoa had previously been slated for the Nova development in Victoria.
In a statement responding to the Barbecoa news, the group said:
As part of our ongoing and comprehensive review of the Restaurant Group and its operations, we have instructed a firm of real estate experts to ascertain the potential value and market suitability of two of our sites.
Barbecoa started life at St. Paul’s in 2011, and its New York-inspired concept was enough to pique the interest of Jay Rayner, who left disappointed. The website describes the kitchen as “an Aladdin’s cave filled with equipment that no one else in London has – robatas, Argentinian grills, wood-fired ovens, Texas pit smokers and a tandoor oven.” (Part) of this may have been true in 2011, but it certainly isn’t now, and it certainly wasn’t in 2017 when Barbecoa Piccadilly opened its doors. This sounds like a case of two high-rent sites falling behind the times — London’s neophilic approach to restaurant culture will always have this darker side.