Greenwich gets set for Jamie's Italian
Greenwich is fast becoming a hub for Italian dining with a restaurant chain fronted by chef Jamie Oliver set to take the place of one of the town's historic eateries.
The Mediterranean vibe and cuisine created by Jamie's Italian will soon transform the Bar du Musee, in Nelson Road, which shut up shop for the final time on Monday.
The venue, which was owned by Inc Group and landlord Greenwich Hospital, had been operating from the site since the 1960s, first starting out as a wine bar.
But Frank Dowling, owner of Inc Group, told The Wharf the opening of the new restaurant, set for April next year, would present a situation where "everyone wins".
"We had an opportunity to have a new tenant come in, called Jamie's Italian," he said.
"Jamie's Italian saw it as an opportunity, I saw it as an opportunity as did Greenwich Hospital. It was a three way idea, a three way deal that was signed.
"It had nothing to do with trading at Bar du Musee, it's just Greenwich would benefit from a Jamie's Italian - it's great for the community, it's good for the town centre and it's a great opportunity for everyone.
"Bar du Musee started as a wine bar and I built an opportunity there we can hand over to someone who is a great operator."
The brand-new dining offering will take its place among the towns other Italian restaurants, including Pizza Express, Zizzi and Bianco 43.
And Frank hinted that although Bar du Musee was no longer in operation, the creation of Jamie's Italian did not necessarily spell the end for the Sixties venue.
"The Bar du Musee might be re-born in another venue a smaller, more quaint place might be better for it," he said.
He added that Inc Group also had plans in the pipeline to re-launch Inc Bar in November, as well as a complete refurbishment of the Trafalgar Tavern, with the installment of 15 hotel rooms.
A spokeswoman for Jamie's Italian said: "We are excited about the prospect of opening a restaurant in Greenwich but cannot confirm any plans as yet. We will update you with details as soon as we have them."