Jamie Oliver’s steak restaurant, Barbecoa which is located in the One New Change building near St Paul’s in the City, is today the subject of fresh uncertainty, as MCA has reported the site is being marketed by the property owner, Land Securities, ahead of a rent review in July. It is suggested that the site has already received “rival bids.”
It is the same site, which two months ago was the subject of a mildly controversial internal takeover — where Oliver’s company that previously owned it, Barby Limited, went bust, but was bought out of administration by a new company, One New Change Limited, itself a wholly owned subsidiary business of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group. In other words, it technically changed “ownership” only in name; its “owners” remained the same and the restaurant (unlike the Barbecoa on Piccadilly in the centre of the city) never closed.
It did mean was however, that the debts — £6.7 million of them — were all but written off. Since a number of those debtors were comparatively small unpaid suppliers, it prompted outspoken restaurant critic Jay Rayner to publicly slam Oliver. Rayner called the actions “outrageous” and asked Oliver directly on Twitter: “...are you going to make sure every single one of your suppliers is paid?”
When asked by Eater today whether it was likely Barbecoa was going to sign a new lease, a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group said: “Barbecoa continues to trade well for us and we are committed to working with the landlord for the long term.”
Land Securities did not immediately respond to Eater’s request for comment.
- Barbecoa site remains on the market [MCA/Paywall]