Jamie Oliver Group still aims to open a Barbecoa restaurant at the Nova development in London's Victoria, despite rumours that it could be pulling out of the scheme.
Barbecoa Victoria was announced in 2015 for a September 2016 opening, however it still remains unopened, despite the launch of 14 other food and beverage outlets on the site, including neighbouring Franco Manca.
The Victoria Barbecoa is expected to have a large standalone bar, a "hidden" garden, and a dining room with an open kitchen where diners can watch chefs cook on the Argentinian and Robata grills. However, no work seems to be going on inside the empty building.
One unnamed operator at Nova told The Caterer they were worried about the vacant site, and enquired with the builders on a daily basis however "no one knows when Barbecoa is due to open". While three others individually claimed they had heard that the deal was off.
Barbecoa in Victoria is to be Jamie Oliver Group's third site under the brand. Barbecoa in Piccadilly opened earlier this year, in February. It was originally announced in 2014 but also faced a major delay, following the discovery by builders of the skeletons of 64 humans and one huge Great Mastiff dog, dating from the mid 1600s to the mid 1800s.
Despite the claims that the company wanted to avoid another costly project, a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver Group said: "We do review our business regularly but there have been no decisions or changes."
In January this year, Oliver was forced to close six Jamie's Kitchen restaurants with the brand's parent Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group blaming a tough market.
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