It is thought that Caprice Holdings’ boss Richard Caring — owner of big-money, celebrity-endorsed venues like Sexy Fish, The Ivy, and Annabel’s — has purchased Jamie Oliver’s now-closed steak restaurant Barbecoa at St Paul’s in the City. Propel reports that Caring will take over the site at the One New Change development, which Oliver opened with Adam Perry Lang in 2010.
It is thought that Caring could use the site, which has been bought from Oliver’s administrators, KPMG, which stepped in following the collapse of the TV chef’s restaurant group in May, to open Caprice Holdings’ second Ivy Asia — a brand which debuted in Manchester last year.
Ivy’s connection to Asia in Manchester is predictably loose: “The Ivy Spinningfields Senior Head Chef... enjoys working with Asian ingredients, produce and flavours following extensive travels across the continent. From trips to Cambodia and Vietnam, to sampling produce at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo,” the website reveals. An alternative explanation is that Manchester and its wealthy neighbouring county, Cheshire, now has a Mayfair-like market for expensive raw fish, grilled protein, citrus, cocktails, dodgy nomenclature, and glitz.
Propel also reports that Caring is in talks to buy a further three sites which Oliver formerly ran as Jamie’s Italian restaurants. Caring has recently been going against mid-market sector trends, enjoying great success with the nationwide roll-out of the Ivy brand, iterated as “Market Grills”, “Gardens”, “Brasseries”, and “Cafes” — all rooted to the original, celebrity favourite Ivy on West Street in Covent Garden.