Jamie Oliver is making a return to London's dining scene with an exciting new restaurant opening in 2023.
The chef and TV personality, who recently remarried his wife Jools after 23 years of marriage, is planning to open just one restaurant to start off with, with the potential to expand if the first one is successful. Although the name of the restaurant has not yet been revealed, it is expected to be more upmarket than his previous family chain Jamie’s Italian, with the site set to open at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The focus will be on seasonal British cooking with produce sourced from farmers, fisheries and artisan producers across the UK.
Jamie Oliver commented on the new venture: '[The new restaurant] is about going back to my culinary roots inspired by the dishes I grew up cooking in my mum and dad's pub restaurant.
'It's about celebrating Britain's rich and diverse food scene in what I hope will be an iconic, trusted restaurant in a very special place.'
Theatre Royal is one of the world’s oldest theatre sites, re-opening in 2021 following a £60 million restoration. The next part of its restoration plan will see Jamie’s restaurant developed in a new space adjacent to the main theatre at 6 Catherine Street.
Madeleine Lloyd Webber, the wife of Andrew Lloyd Webber who operates the theatre, said: ‘We are delighted that, in opening this restaurant, the final part of our vision for Theatre Royal Drury Lane has come to fruition. We are thrilled that Jamie Oliver will be operating a restaurant as part of our five-star theatre experience.’
The launch of the new restaurant and its subsequent planned expansion is being managed by the former group managing director of VUE cinemas, Kevin Styles, who was hired as chief executive of the Jamie Oliver Group in July 2022.
Styles commented: 'Being a positive part of the hospitality sector is incredibly important to us. We've been quietly growing our international restaurant franchise business and now operate in 23 countries with over 70 restaurants.
'It has always been an ambition to return to our home market, when the time was right, and this feels like the perfect opportunity to open a very unique restaurant in a very unique venue that will celebrate beautiful, comforting dishes - old and new - from across the British Isles, reflecting the seasons, our rich and diverse food culture and supporting artisan producers.'
This will be Oliver’s first restaurant opening since his group collapsed in 2019, which led to 1,000 job losses. He added: ‘I was devastated when I lost my UK restaurants. Without doubt, it was one of the hardest times of my life. But being part of the restaurant industry is very important to me and I'm very excited to open this restaurant and once again, serve the public.’
Find out more about Jamie Oliver's illustrious career, and discover a ton of tasty recipes by the famous chef.