Following last week’s news that the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group had put its two London steakhouses on the property market, it has been confirmed today that Barby Limited — the parent company which owns Barbecoa sites in St. Paul’s and Piccadilly — has been placed into administration.
However, a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver has confirmed to Eater that a subsidiary company of the restaurant group has purchased the lease and assets for the site in St. Paul’s. That restaurant will continue to trade as normal.
The statement sent to Eater said:
We can confirm that Barby Limited has been placed into administration. AlixPartners has been appointed administrators for Barby Limited. One New Change Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, has purchased the assets and lease of Barbecoa St Paul’s and will be trading as normal.
The spokesperson added: “The Piccadilly branch has been put into administration with AlixPartners appointed as the administrators.” There was no mention that this site has been acquired by One New Change Limited, and it is understood that this restaurant could close as soon as this week, leaving the Barbecoa brand with just its flagship St. Paul’s site.
Oliver established the New York-inspired butcher-cum-steakhouse brand with his friend and American barbecue specialist Adam Perry Lang in 2011; he opened the Piccadilly restaurant in February 2017, though as Eater reported last month, that site was always part of what the group considered among its priorities amid the company restructuring.
The news comes in the wake of the confirmation of 12 Jamie’s Italian branches across the UK, which includes, in London: Kingston, Threadneedle Street, Greenwich, and the Piccadilly Diner.
The group has blamed an increase in business rates for the dramatic change in fortune for the company. Big Hospitality reports that Oliver’s restaurants faced a 28 per cent increase in rates last year — paying £7.3 million compared to £5.7 million the previous year.
According to the BBC, Jamie’s Italian had debts of £71.5 million. However, £47 million of those debts were “covered by loans from HSBC Bank and Jamie Oliver’s other companies.”