Jamie’s Auckland restaurant plan
Jamie Oliver has hinted that plans to open his first New Zealand restaurant are back on the table.
In an interview with the Herald on Sunday, Oliver said he was keen to see his long-awaited plans to open shop in New Zealand come to fruition. A Jamie’s Italian — the chef’s best-known restaurant chain — could open in Auckland next year.
Oliver has been keen to expand his Jamie’s Italian chain here since at least early 2015.
But his initial hope to open stores in Wellington and Auckland last year fell through after the company that ran his Australian operations went into receivership.
But in an interview promoting his latest book, 5 Ingredients — Quick & Easy Food, the much-loved British chef said a New Zealand restaurant was now back on the agenda.
“We were going to go Wellington, but I think probably, it’s sensible to go Auckland first,” he said.
The company that runs Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Australia, Keystone Hospitality Group, went into receivership in June last year.
In November, Oliver bought back the six Australian franchises.
Before the collapse of Keystone, a post on Oliver’s website stated: “I can’t wait to open our first restaurant in New Zealand.
“We’ve been looking for the perfect site for a long time now and I really feel that we’ve found it in Wellington. Jamie’s Italian is the perfect place to bring the family and get stuck in to some fantastic food and right now we’re looking for amazing suppliers, something I’m sure we’re not going to be short of in New Zealand!”
It has previously been reported that the preferred Wellington site for a new restaurant was in the capital’s Old Public Trust Building.
A likely Auckland restaurant site was in Queen’s Rise; the ex-BNZ building at 125 Queen St.
Oliver has been on a mission to make food healthier, campaigning for better school lunches in the UK, and for a sugar tax.
Aucklanders may get a chance to sample Jamie Oliver’s delicious Italian dishes if restaurant plans for the city go ahead.