A brand new £1.5 million restaurant for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has opened in the Maltings Shopping Centre in St Albans.
Jamie’s Italian opened on 6th February and replaces the 18th century Bell Public House. It is the 25th Jamie’s Italian to open in the UK and the first to open in Hertfordshire and is the latest addition to works that are currently underway to revitalise the Chequer Street area of the city.
Jamie Oliver said:
“We’ve opened in what was the Bell Public House on Chequer Street – a building that’s steeped in local history and an important part of the city’s heritage. It’s certainly not our biggest restaurant, but with room for 150 guests it still really packs a punch.
“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. And that’s what I’m passionate about – good food for everyone, no matter what.”
Jamie Oliver Restaurants Group Managing Director, Simon Blagden, added:
“Opening our first Hertfordshire Jamie’s Italian is an exciting new venture for us. The Maltings is the ideal location for the restaurant as it is located centrally and offers guests a place to enjoy great food and a relaxing atmosphere after a long day of shopping.”
Works began in October 2011, with Tekne Shopfitting Ltd as the main contractor and Martin Brudnizki Design Studio as the architect.
The 12-week contract saw the two-storey building undergo a stunning makeover. As with all Jamie’s Italian restaurants, substantial efforts were made to retain the existing features. This included leaving the existing fireplaces and exposed brickwork untouched.
Additional improvements included the installation of flagstone slate and reclaimed timber flooring, along with bench seating, marble counter tops and Moroccan handmade ceramic tiles for the bar fronts.
An impressive glazed walkway has also been installed, subsequently linking into the Maltings shopping centre in order to create synergy between the two buildings. As the restaurant is located within the shopping centre, busy shoppers can take a well-earned break from spending without even having to leave the building.
The Maltings Centre Manager, Phil Corrigan, said:
“The Maltings is extremely proud to open a Jamie’s Italian as it promises to be a fantastic asset to the shopping centre and to St Albans itself.”
The project was officially handed over in January 2012 in time for the grand opening, although some additional work will take place in the coming months. Planning permission is currently being negotiated to extend the restaurant’s dining space through an external seating area at the rear of the building. This phase is likely to be completed in the summer of 2012.
Tekne Shop Fitting Ltd Contracts Director, Phil Mansbridge, said:
“We’ve worked on nine of the Jamie’s Italian restaurants so far and the St Albans site was just as varied and challenging as the previous eight.
“What makes these projects so interesting is that we get to do something at each site that is very different to the next, so diners are offered a unique experience at each restaurant. This is achieved by taking on themes and iconic imagery associated with that particular location and incorporating them within the building where possible.
“Of course that’s not to say that there are no similarities between the sites, because a general theme does run through each of the restaurants. Diners who visit other Jamie’s Italians will notice the Thomas Crapper toilets and the blackened steelwork that runs throughout the buildings – this is something that helps to retain the brand for Jamie Oliver.”
“This Jamie’s Italian has benefited from great organisation. The work ran to schedule and from our point of view it was what we would call a low-hassle project. It’s great to see another completed restaurant and it is also very important for us to be able to continue this successful working relationship with Jamie.”
Tekne Shopfitting Ltd is a traditional shop fitting specialist with over 30 years of experience in the industry and in addition to contract management the company manufactures all of the joinery at its factory in Poole, Dorset. The company has worked on nine Jamie’s Italian restaurants so far including: Guilford, Reading, Leeds, Glasgow, Bath, Bristol, Portsmouth and The Angel, Islington.
Phil Mansbridge said:
“The Jamie’s Italian we worked on in Leeds was a former bank, whilst the site in Guildford had been a record shop. Our next site will be Jamie’s Italian in York and then we’ll be looking forward to seeing what other sites are on the horizon.
“We’re also getting involved with the latest line of eateries from Jamie Oliver – Union Jacks. This is a new chain that is built around wood-fired cooking methods.
“Having completed the flagship Union Jacks at Holborn we are now involved with the roll-out of Union Jack venues in Winchester, Bluewater and Covent Garden.”
Jamie’s Italian Islington
Jamie’s Italian Islington opened its doors in August 2011 at the intersection between Islington Upper Street, City Road, Pentonville Road and St John Street. The diner boasts 250 covers with outside seating and has a coffee van conveniently parked outside the front door to dispense refreshments throughout the day.
The restaurant is also located close to Fifteen, the first-ever restaurant opened by Jamie Oliver.
Jamie Oliver said:
“Islington’s such a foodie part of London so it was just perfect for Jamie’s Italian where our gorgeous, affordable Italian food in a stunning setting, really does have something for everyone.”
Jamie’s Italian Guildford
Like the St Albans site and the Jamie’s Italians in Bath and Reading, the Guildford site is housed within a shopping complex. The two-storey building was constructed using reinforced concrete and features a brick facade, ground-to-first floor windows and ample space for up to 160 diners.
The building operated as both a bank and a record store before it became a Jamie’s Italian. One of the most noticeable features is the circular shape, which gives this particular Jamie’s Italian a very unique layout.
Inside the restaurant, the interior features reclaimed timber and marble, whilst the furniture is a mixture of steel chairs and purpose-made booths. In order to make the steel and timber roof visible, ceilings and partitions were removed during the redevelopment works.
Split over two floors, the building boasts two very distinct levels. The ground floor features exposed services, marble counter tops and a polished concrete floor, whilst the first floor showcases purpose-made floor tiles.
Suspended meats create the impression of real home cooking and the wood-burning ovens create appetising aromas, whilst the view of the kitchen allows diners to see all of the hard work in action.
Jamie’s Italian Leeds
Housed within a former bank, Jamie’s Italian Leeds opened in 2010 and became the first northern branch to open in the UK.
The restaurant has retained several original elements, including large Roman pillars and a grand staircase. A large open kitchen dominates the ground floor, whilst exposed brickwork and vibrant tiles create an exciting mixture of Italian and English styles.
Jamie Oliver said:
“We converted a grand old bank into our first restaurant to open in the north of England and it was a real beauty.
“We were inspired by the wonderful old ceiling downstairs and stayed as close to the original as we could. Upstairs a bank of windows ensures that it’s always light and airy and the effect is gorgeous!”
Jamie’s Italian Glasgow
The 250-cover Jamie’s Italian Glasgow opened in May 2010 on George Square in the city’s General Post Office (GPO) building. Prior to the creation of the new restaurant, the building had sat empty for ten years just waiting to be brought back to life.
Jamie’s Italian Glasgow is housed on the ground and lower-ground levels of the building and features an open plan interior with a mixture of glass, leather, timber and exposed brick features.
Jamie Oliver said:
“This was the first Jamie’s Italian in Scotland and what an amazing start! We got ourselves one of Glasgow’s top spots – the old GPO building on George Square – and thanks to the ability of our designers to brilliantly blend classic architecture with rustic Italy and a twist of Jamie’s own contemporary style, Jamie’s Italian has really created a stir.”
Jamie’s Italian Reading
Jamie’s Italian Reading opened in March 2010 at The Oracle shopping centre. The Reading site was designed as a relaxed eatery aimed at hungry workers on the go, yet offers diners everything they’ve come to expect from the Jamie’s brand.
Jamie Oliver said:
“We really came up trumps with our site in Reading; a cracking building overlooking the river. The centrepiece is the whopping bubble-shaped chandelier which – especially at night – really sets the whole place off a treat.”
Thomasons is one of the country’s leading civil and structural engineering consultancies, offering a nationwide service from seven offices across the country. Having worked with many high profile clients – many within the retail and leisure sectors – Thomasons has recently been involved in the structural design and implementation of 15 Jamie’s Italian restaurants across the UK.
Thomasons’ Senior Project Engineer, Darren Williams, said:
“Working with Jamie’s Italian has been a fascinating opportunity. Usually the complexities and engineering challenges are solved and then hidden within the fabric of the building, but at Jamie’s Italian the concept of the interior architecture is to expose it all.
“At Westfield Stratford City, we designed a bespoke wraparound staircase which forms a stunning focal point for the double-height restaurant. “
Now in its 65th year of delivering civil and structural engineering consultancy, Thomasons continues to produce practical, innovative and bespoke solutions for its expanding client base.
South Coast Stone
South Coast Stone 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 source materials from around the world and import slabs from China, Turkey, Italy, Belgium and France. The company uses the latest CNC machinery that works from CAD drawings to assist the manufacturer.
South Coast Stone Managing Director, Andy Croce, said:
“We have over 60 years combined experience in our industry and we have been involved in many large projects within the UK working directly for main contractors.
“These projects have involved paving, cladding and tiling a wide range of stone products and recently included the importation and installation of granite cladding with a flamed textured finish for Willmott Dixon Construction at the ex RAF Hendon airbase.
“A factor that has contributed to the success of our Company is having control of our supply chain. We select and import our stone directly from our overseas suppliers and then design and manufacture the finished products in our factory using the latest CNC machinery.
“This ensures we are able to control all aspects of product quality and make cost savings which we are able to pass on to our customers.”
For over ten years Clear Structures has been a market leader in structural glass design, providing bespoke glazing solutions for projects in the UK and overseas. From its head office in Southend-on-Sea, the company works with architects, specialist contractors and glass manufacturers to provide glass solutions to the construction industry.
Previous projects include Highbury Square, various projects at the Olympic Park and a number of Westfield shopping centres. Clear Structures has also worked on three Jamie’s Italian restaurants, providing facades, bespoke curtain walling systems, associated support frames and glass fins.
Clear Structures Associate, Rob Parsell, said:
“Jamie’s Italian is such an interesting project to work on. Each restaurant is engineered to create a stunning visual experience for its customers.”
Decorative Treatments Unlimited
Decorative Treatments Unlimited is a specialist painting and decorating contractor with over 30 years of experience in the industry. The company works on projects over many sectors and has a long-standing relationship with shopfitting contractors.
Decorative Treatments Unlimited has been associated with Tekne for over 25 years and has worked on all of the Jamie Italian restaurants that Tekne Shopfitting Limited has completed to date.
Decorative Treatments Unlimited Company Director, Allan Joyce, said:
“We’re a long established company that is able to deliver what the client requires, to the standard that they require and within the timescale.”
For over twenty-five years SDS London has supplied architectural ironmongery to the construction industry. The company provides bespoke and standard ironmongery for use in projects across the UK, Europe and overseas and offers a free and fully comprehensive scheduling service in line with all relevant legislation and best practices. SDS London is also a long-standing member of the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers.
The company has provided architectural ironmongery for many high-profile projects including the recent restoration of Rise Hall – a renovation project for Sarah Beeny and Channel 4.
SDS London has provided architectural ironmongery for many Jamie’s Italian restaurants including sites in Kent, Manchester, Covent Garden, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Milton Keynes.
SDS London Head Estimator, Simon Ayers, said:
“A lot of the work we provide for Jamie’s Italian is quite specialist so we have to organise something a little bit beyond the norm. Most of the back of house fixtures and equipment are set in stainless steel.
“With every Jamie’s Italian there are bespoke elements which we have to consider when planning. The ironmongery in every Jamie’s Italian is different and it’s great to be involved with such a dynamic brand.”
Real Flooring Solutions Ltd
Real Flooring Solutions Ltd is a contract floor specialist that provides soft and timber floor finishes for commercial interiors. The company offers a competitive and cost-effective product that meets the needs of its clients.
Real Flooring Solutions Ltd has previously provided flooring solutions for a number of high-profile projects including McDonald’s restaurants and Gant and Coach retail stores. Presently Real Flooring Solutions Ltd is delivering timber floor finishes for Urban Outfitters.
Working with Tekne Ltd, Real Flooring Solutions Ltd has been involved with six Jamie’s Italian restaurants, providing both soft and timber floor coverings for front and back of house areas. As well as providing floor coverings for new installations, the company also restored and renovated an existing timber plank floor at the Leeds site.
Real Flooring Solutions Ltd Company Director, Mark Thompson, said:
“We provide a personal service from conception to completion and we are always aware of our clients’ requirements.”
Warings Furniture Ltd
Established in 1986, Warings Furniture Ltd is a manufacturer and distributor of bespoke furniture, supplying directly to contractors within the construction industry. The majority of Warings Furniture Ltd’s products are produced to order and the company works on many high-profile projects including: J D Wetherspoon, BHS, The Restaurant Group, Pret a Manger, Hilton Hotels, Travelodge and Center Parcs.
The company has also expanded into the retail market with the recent opening of its first outlet, selling furniture directly to the domestic sector.
Warings Furniture Ltd has supplied bespoke furniture to 25 Jamie’s Italian and Union Jacks restaurants and continues to maintain a long-lasting working relationship with the brand.
Warings Furniture Ltd Company Director, Stuart Smith, said:
“Manufacturing and supplying furniture to Jamie’s Italian and Union Jacks requires a lot of individual tailoring to meet the specific needs of our clients. We’ll meet with the designers to get a clear understanding of what they want and then we’ll make the necessary adjustments so that the furniture can become operational.
Stuart Smith added:
“At Warings Furniture Ltd we’re very passionate about what we do and with over 25 years of experience we take great pride in offering the highest level of service to all of our customers.”
L.A. Husbands Ltd
As the UK’s only high-volume producer of small service and goods lifts in the UK, L.A. Husbands Ltd has a reputation for providing a unique, quality service to its clients. L.A. Husbands Ltd works with both the largest and smallest contractors throughout the UK and has installed lifts in some the UK’s most prestigious buildings.
The company provides lifts to a very wide cross section of industry sectors including restaurants, hotels, libraries, banks, manufacturing and distribution companies and universities, schools and other public organisations.
L.A. Husbands Ltd has been involved with over 20 Jamie’s Italians so far, manufacturing and installing service lifts for the transportation of food within each restaurant.
L.A. Husbands Ltd Managing Director, Keith Holmes, said:
“We pride ourselves on the ability to manufacture standard or bespoke lifts and to give on-time, quality installations.
“L.A. Husbands Ltd has been in business since 1963 and we have lifts still in operation 30 years after we originally installed them. Our clients can be sure of the longevity of our lifts and the quality of our service.”
For the Jamie’s Italian projects, MRFS Group was contracted to design, supply and install HD CCTV and Intruder Alarm systems.
Tony Bygraves Chief Executive, MRFS Group, said:
“We are very proud to have been involved with Jamie Oliver and his exciting projects. Jamie’s Italian is a very big brand, it is a privilege to work so closely with them so to ensure we surpass their needs and expectations.”
“What is particularly pleasing for us is the way that this fast growing chain of restaurants has acknowledged the potential use of CCTV, not just for security, but for other aspects too. For instance, in the case of Jamie’s Italian, with high definition mega –pixel CCTV technology they are able to monitor the quality of food dispatched from their kitchens at each restaurant, remotely by the Executive Chefs at Head Office, and shortly ‘on the move’ with ipad technology.”
“They can use the system as a training tool, observing staff behaviours and performance plus key features are theft deterrents and use with health and safety issues. Jamie’s are constantly looking for new ways of improving their own Customer service and management of a growing portfolio with the use of high definition mega-pixel CCTV.”
“CCTV can be a powerful tool and has much broader horizons than people realise, which is an idea that we are trying get out there.”
MRFS Group was incorporated in 1983, originally as MR Security and through its growth have become one of the largest independent Company’s in the United Kingdom offering consultation, design, supply, installation and maintenance for Audio Visual, Fire & Security Systems within the residential, commercial and industrial sectors including:
Architects*Building Contractors*Colleges*Commercial *Consultants* Developers *Electrical Contractors*Estate Agent*Housing Associations Trusts*HM Government* Hospitals*Hotels*Interior Designers*Local Authorities*M & E Contractors*Managing Agents* Residential*Restaurants*Retail* Schools* Surveyors*Universities
They comply with the Highest Industry Standards; the Company are NSI (National Security Inspectorate) Gold installers for Access Control, Burglar Alarms, CCTV and Fire Alarms together with BS EN ISO 9001:2008, and also are BAFE ( British Approval for Fire Equipment) certified. Members of the BSIA (British Security Association) and FSA (Fire Security Association), we are also accredited by Achilles, Constructionline, CHAS and Safe Contractor and are recognised by all leading Insurance Companies and Police Constabularies nationwide.
Their multi-discipline skill set encompasses the following systems:
*Access control*Audio Visual & Automation*Burglar Alarms*CCTV*Data Cabling & Infrastructure*Door Entry*Fire Alarms*Fire Appliances*Gates and Gate Automation*Grilles & Collapsible Gates*Home Cinema*HD-CCTV*Information Technology*Integrated Reception Systems*Lighting control*Locks*Monitoring services*Perimeter Security*Public Address*Security Doors*Security Lighting*Safes* Telecommunications
For more information on MRFS Group and more information on our Company’s services please visit www.mrfsgroup.com or call us FREE on 0500 288 999.