By Oliver Farrimond
CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver is set to open a new restaurant in Edinburgh within the next year.
The Naked Chef intends to add the new eatery to his string of popular restaurants once a suitable location is chosen.
The restaurant should open in mid-to-late 2011, and follows the successful opening of Jamie’s Italian in Glasgow during July of this year.
Peter Berry, spokesman for Jamie Oliver, said the chef hoped to be launching next year, depending on how long it takes to select a suitable site.
He said: “We are hoping to move into Edinburgh at some point soon – we are looking at sites in Edinburgh and in various cities around the UK.
“Edinburgh would be a brilliant place to have one of our restaurants, but we haven’t found the right place yet – hopefully we will be ready to open next year.
“We think Edinburgh would be the perfect place to open up because it ticks the boxes.
“It is a university town, but it also has a lot of professionals and visitors. It could work really well.”
There are now 14 of Oliver’s Italian-themed restaurants in the UK, with a 15th planned to open in Birmingham in November.
The Glasgow branch of Jamie’s Italian has already enjoyed success, with the opening night proving so busy that staff ran out of bread, seafood and salad and were forced to close early.
However reviews of the establishment have been mixed, with some reviewers labeling the service “slow” and “bland”.
But Malcolm Duck, chairman of Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association, welcomed the addition of the restaurant.
He said: “The city has a wealth of restaurants and there is an increasingly vibrant scene, and the big names we have are great and this is a good addition to the list.
“But it’s not just about the name – Gary Rhodes proved that because he failed to make it.
“However Jamie comes across as a passionate guy and his good reputation will be an excellent start.”
Duck also warned that the Naked Chef could face a “tougher market” in the Capital.
He added: “Edinburgh and Glasgow have very different markets when it comes to eating out.
“There is more disposable income in Glasgow so demand on Edinburgh income is significantly higher, making it a tougher market.”