Italian food is on the menu in Manchester with the opening of a brand new £2 million Jamie’s Italian.
Jamie’s Italian in King Street is the latest restaurant in an ever-expanding portfolio of eating establishments that have been served up by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. The restaurant officially opened on February 20th 2012 and with up to 240 covers, the high-profile eatery promises to offer a unique dining experience for culinary connoisseurs.
Jamie’s Italian in Manchester is located within a Grade II listed building formerly constructed for the Midland Bank. The building housed HSBC Bank until it relocated to different premises in 2008, whereby the building was left vacant.
The building was chosen as the site for the new restaurant as it is a dynamic structure located in a fashionable area within the heart of the city. The Manchester restaurant is surrounded by a number of leading retail outlets including Vivienne Westwood and sits opposite Rio Ferdinand’s restaurant, Rosso.
Internally, the layout is split into three levels – a ground floor banking hall, a mezzanine floor and a basement vault room – all of which have been designed to provide diners with a memorable experience.
In order to preserve the rich history and stunning architecture of the original building, all of the existing features have been retained. These include marble columns, decorative lighting and a marble staircase that leads down to the vault room, along with the original wooden panels from when the building traded as a bank.
The main banking hall comprises a bar, an antipasti counter and a large seating area that offers a great view of the kitchen. Brand new black and white marble flooring has been laid across the ground floor in order to replicate the original design, whilst all of the existing marble work has been cleaned to bring it back to life.
A feature that diners will instantly notice upon entering the banking hall is the main bar counter, which runs along almost the entire width of the building. The bar was constructed using the hardwood panelled fronts of the original bank counters, which were repaired and refurbished before being incorporated into the new bar and antipasti counter. Additional joinery work was then carried out where necessary in order to fill in any gaps in the wooden structure. Following this, a marble countertop was added to the bar and decorative metal and glass work was incorporated to create an interesting focal point for the restaurant.
The main banking hall has also incorporated two bespoke private dining rooms that are available for diners who are celebrating a special occasion or require a more tailored dining experience. These rooms were previously the offices of the bank manager and the bank manager’s secretary and can seat up to eight people. The rooms have now been completely renovated, with finishes including hardwood panelling and stunning fire places.
Located below the main banking hall is the vault room, which has also undergone extensive renovation in order to create a private dining room that can seat up to twelve people. Many of the original features remain on show, including approximately 200 strongroom boxes that once housed valuables belonging to the customers of the bank. The unique display presents diners with an opportunity to soak up the splendour of eating in what was once a very valuable room, in the process creating a rather memorable talking point.
The vault is also home to a number of other important facilities that are all part of the inner workings of the restaurant. Viewing rooms that once formed part of the vault are now spacious customer toilets, whilst a number of back of house areas – including offices, store rooms and associated utilities – are located behind the vault.
The final area designated for diners is located above the main banking hall via a mezzanine level that runs three quarters of the way around the building. The mezzanine floor creates three separate sets of dining area via large antechambers and offers a stunning view of the entire restaurant.
Arguably one of the most important elements of the restaurant is the kitchen, which is the hub of the entire eatery.
A state-of-the-art kitchen has been fitted to cater to the demand of serving up to 240 people. In a conscious effort to maintain the existing features of the building, careful consideration was given to making it part of the redevelopment and the kitchen has effectively been slotted into the building. As a result, the kitchen may be removed with ease and without damaging any of the existing walls should the restaurant decide to relocate in the future.
In order to incorporate the new kitchen, the walls were dry-lined so that the original wall panelling could be retained. Following this, the original walls were then hidden behind new stud walls which have effectively left parts of the original interior of the bank intact. This particular phase of the redevelopment work was seen as a key area of importance during planning stages and has now safeguarded the walls of the kitchen from any unnecessary damage caused in such a creative environment.
All of the work conducted has complied with the relevant building regulations, whilst considerable efforts were made to use materials sourced from sustainable resources. Ceilings were completely repainted, windows were refurbished and all of the joinery was manufactured to replicate the existing design.
The project was completed on 3rd February 2012 and was immediately followed by a week of staff training. Following on from the resounding success of the opening night, the restaurant has already proved to be very popular with diners in the North West.
Up to 100 jobs have been created at the restaurant and Jamie Oliver has attended the site to meet the staff.
Jamie Oliver commented:
“I’ve wanted to open a Jamie’s Italian in Manchester for years but we had never found the right location until now. It’s a wonderful place to eat and one of the jewels in the Jamie’s Italian collection.
“Since I was a teenager I’ve been totally besotted by the love, passion and verve for food, family and life itself that just about all Italian people have, no matter where they’re from or how rich or poor they may be. That’s what I’m passionate about – good food for everyone no matter what.
“There is such diversity in lifestyles, cooking, traditions and dialects and this is why as a chef I find this country so exciting and it’s what inspired me to create Jamie’s Italian. I should have been Italian.”
Managing Director of Visit Manchester, Paul Simpson, added:
“It’s fantastic news that Jamie Oliver has chosen Manchester as the home of his new restaurant.
“As one of the country’s most popular celebrity chefs, his restaurant will no doubt attract visitors from far and wide – adding further character to Manchester’s thriving food and drink scene.”
Main contractor for Jamie’s Italian in Manchester was du Boulay Contracts, whilst Martin Brudnizki Design Studio was the architect and Jack De Wet was the project architect.
The project manager for the restaurant was Gavin Beasley, whilst Thomasons was the structural consultant. In addition, Current Affairs Electrical Contractors Ltd designed the electrical works package and Chapman Ventilation Ltd provided a ventilation and air conditioning package.
Managing Director of du Boulay Contracts, Michael Reed, said:
“Jamie’s Italian was designed to fit within a Grade II listed building that was originally designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1928.
“Many components from the original design were recycled within the building so that they would remain a part of the new restaurant and this was a very important factor throughout the project.
“As we wanted to retain as many of the existing features as possible, all efforts were made to refurbish the parts of the building that just needed a little reworking. An example of this is the doors, which we knew we wanted to keep straight away as they are just magnificent. Because the doors were not compliant with fire safety requirements, we upgraded them where necessary.
“The Portland stone was also cleaned and repaired, and even the steel gates were restored. All of the work was completed sensitively on and around the building and I think it shows.”
Michael Reed added:
“Transforming the building from a bank into a restaurant was surprisingly straightforward and everything ran to schedule. However, that’s not to say that we didn’t encounter any problems as there were a number of challenges – particularly whilst attempting to install the electrical and mechanical services around the building.
“The air conditioning alone needed a lot of pipework and cabling, and tasks like this required careful consideration and planning. Preparation took place onsite and offsite with input from all of the various contractors and members of the site team.
“This team collaboration worked well and ultimately everyone involved was happy with how we managed to lose all of the services, especially considering the fact that we were unable to strip panelling off to hide it. Unfortunately this does tend to happen when working on an older building.
Jamie’s Italian in Manchester is the 17th restaurant that du Boulay Contracts has been involved with and their previous projects for the chain include the redevelopment of the Guildhall in Cambridge and the conversion of the Justice Courts in Cheltenham.
Now that the Manchester project is complete, du Boulay Contracts is looking forward to working on the next three restaurants in the celebrity chef’s portfolio, which will take shape in Edinburgh, Norwich and Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal.
Gatwick Airport will be the first of the three to open when it is completed in the summer of 2012. The restaurant will provide 200 covers within an air-side diner, along with a Union Jacks bar and an express bakery where food can be eaten onsite or taken away.
Each of these new restaurants promises to showcase Jamie Oliver’s trademark food and provide excellent service in a unique and interesting location.
Michael Reed added:
“Working on Jamie’s Italian in Manchester was very important to us and is something that we have taken a great deal of pride in. The project was technically interesting and the best part was that we got to hand over a development with a fantastic interior that we knew diners would love.
“Jamie is a great guy to work for and the team that he has are first-class, so seeing one of his restaurants full of customers is something that makes us very proud.
“All of the Jamie Oliver restaurants are bespoke, one-off designs every time. Sometimes they are constructed in difficult buildings under some very difficult circumstances, but when we’re tasked with finishing them on time that’s exactly what we do.”
Jamie’s Italian is a nationwide chain with restaurants in Bath, Cambridge, Liverpool, Covent Garden, Cardiff, Glasgow, Guilford, Oxford and Birmingham.
Dar Marble & Granite Ltd
For 27 years Dar Marble & Granite Ltd has provided the construction industry with a one-stop service for marble and granite works. This includes the fabrication, supply and installation of marble and granite as well as limestone and quartz engineered stone.
Dar Marble & Granite Ltd work with a number of high profile clients and have previously completed jobs at Manchester Airport, the Hilton Hotel and the Panacea in Manchester.
On Jamie’s Italian in Manchester, Dar Marble & Granite Ltd supplied and fitted 250 metres of marble which was used in flooring, waiter stations and across the main counter bar.
Dar Marble and Granite Ltd Managing Director, David Gray, said:
“At Dar Marble and Granite Ltd we are specialists in all different areas of marble and granite work, including carving and moulding, and we have all of the facilities at our disposal to complete any job.
“We’ve got a great reputation in the industry and a lot of our business comes from referrals from satisfied clients.”
Chapman Ventilation Ltd
Starting life as a general ventilation company in 1967, family-run business Chapman Ventilation Ltd. has since become an industry-leading supplier of kitchen ventilation systems for the leisure and fine-dining industries.
The company specialises in conducting heating, ventilation and air conditioning fit-outs and works on all Jamie’s Italian restaurants in the UK. Other high-profile clients include Nando’s, Frankie and Benny’s, Hawksmoor and Cabana.
On each Jamie’s Italian Chapman Ventilation Ltd. is involved throughout the duration of the project, from assessing the site’s suitability through to the installation and handover. Chapman Ventilation has been involved with Jamie’s Italian Manchester since the first assessment of the site in 2009 and has continued to advance the project since then.
Chapman Ventilation Ltd. Head of Marketing, Jenny Handy, said:
“We have over forty years experience designing, manufacturing and installing odour control, grease and smoke removal, and kitchen ventilation solutions for a wide range of clients.
“We’re committed to using the most sustainable products that we can find, partnering with market leaders and sourcing from companies that have a good reputation for sustainability. We’re particularly proud to be working with sustainable systems manufacturer Sirius Products on all of Jamie’s Italian’s upcoming sites.”
Heleine & Whattam Ltd
Founded in 1980, Heleine & Whattam Ltd is a well-established specialist joinery manufacturer that supplies a range of high quality products to clients within the interior contracting industry.
For the Jamie Oliver’s Italian (Manchester) project, the company manufactured all of the internal joinery for their preferred customer, Michael Reed of du Boulay Contracts. This included the main bar counter and integrated seating structure, waiter stations, working tables, wall panelling, and the feature main entrance doors.
Andy Mundy, Heleine & Whattam Ltd, said:
“This is the ninth project that we have completed for the du Boulay Contracts and Jamie Oliver partnership, with the quality of our work leading to us becoming their known and preferred supplier. We are particularly proud of the Manchester project as we believe that the overall finish to the building and the quality of the design is exceptional.
The company prides themselves on their ability to cater for a wide range of joinery-based projects. In addition to supplying bespoke furniture for high-end residences, Heleine & Whattam Ltd have also been involved with casino and restaurant projects, along with construction projects such as a cricket club fit-out for the Indian Premier League and a bank fit-out for Virgin Money.
Andy Mundy added: “Heleine & Whattam Ltd are continually working towards increasing our customer base in order to offer a wide range of joinery-based solutions. We are constantly developing ourselves to match our customers’ specific requirements and we pride ourselves on our determination to work with our customers to achieve a first-class result every time.”
South Coast Stone Ltd
South Coast Stone Ltd specialises in the supply and installation of all types of natural and engineered stone including marble, granite, slate, limestone and quartz.
The well-established stone masonry company has substantial experience in completing commercial projects for clients including the Jamie Oliver and Pizza Express restaurant chains. Whilst South Coast Stone Ltd mainly completes kitchen work, they are also adept at bathroom stonework and all types of tiling.
South Coast Stone Ltd source materials from around the world and import slabs from China, Turkey, Italy, Belgium and France. The company uses the latest technology and machinery, along with CAD drawings that assist the manufacturer.
Andy Croce, South Coast Stone Ltd, said:
“With approximately sixty years in the industry between us, my director and I have been involved in a range of larger projects across London. South Coast Stone Ltd is highly experienced in the supply and installation of all types of natural and engineered stone.
“Not only do we important the stone, but we also complete a lot of in-house manufacturing and can produce designs. We are a one stop shop when it comes to stonework.”
Brothers Services Ltd
Brothers Services Ltd provides specialised builders cleaning and support services to the commercial, industrial and residential sectors. The company provide services across London, Bournemouth and Southampton and this includes working on offices, student accommodation, restaurants, housing communities, shopping centres and car show rooms. Brothers Services Ltd is also accredited to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 and is a Construction Online Accredited contractor.
Amongst the company’s many varied projects Brothers Services Ltd has completed work for John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Bournemouth University and Southampton University, as well as BMW Showroom, Mini Showroom and the Portland Marina.
Brothers Services Ltd also provides specialist services for Jamie’s Italian restaurants and has proudly worked on all of the sites in the south of the country including Portsmouth, London and Oxford.
Brothers Services Deputy Managing Director, William Bazzani, said:
“Working on a Jamie’s Italian is always a very delicate operation due to the intricate fixtures and features at each restaurant. Attention to detail is always our number one priority. We use specialist equipment for each project and we are constantly looking at ways to improve our operation.
“Our mission is to provide total customer satisfaction through high-quality, cost effective and environmentally friendly services.”
Ideal Glass & Glazing
Ideal Glass & Glazing is a specialist supplier of bespoke mirrors and glass for both the domestic and commercial sector. The company supplies and installs unique glass work for churches, private homes and bars and has worked on such high-profile restaurants as The Ivy and Fifteen.
With 16 years of glazing experience, the company has built up a unique portfolio of glass projects and are proud to be able to offer a direct service to homeowners, developers, builders and architects.
Ideal Glass & Glazing has worked with du Boulay Contracts on up to fifteen Jamie’s Italian restaurants around the country including sites in Oxford, Cambridge, Westfield, Kent and Brighton. The extent of the company’s work varies at each of the sites but has seen Ideal Glass & Glazing produce many handmade glass works for screens, antique mirrors, bar areas and wine storage units.
Ideal Glass & Glazing Financial Director, Emma Weaver, said:
“With over 16 years of glazing experience, our range of knowledge consists of commercial subcontracting and bespoke domestic installations.
“We pride ourselves in providing a personal bespoke service direct to all our clients with professional advice and a reliable turnaround.”