Design focus: Jamie’s Italian Aberdeen

February 27th, 2013 | Posted in: Features,News

Jamie Oliver’s scored a hat trick in Scotland with Jamie’s Italian Aberdeen, on the back of his Glasgow and Edinburgh concerns. It opened last month on Union Street in the former Esselmont & Macintosh department store, and is also the most northerly of the celebrity chef’s UK estate.
The design of the two storey space is undoubtedly enriched by the scale and grandeur of the Esslemont & Macintosh building ,which you can still imagine in its glory days after a major scrub up. Inside, its prominent features are a patterned terracotta screen surrounding the central staircase and open kitchen. The colour scheme on both floors is warm and cosy with neutral wood, and splashes of red and green.
The 280-cover restaurant was supposed to open in June of last year, but the project hit a bit of turbulence, so its opening was postponed.?Stiff & Trevillion were the designers tasked with delivering the concept. Mike Stiff is a director of the company. He said, “This is probably the tenth or eleventh Jamie’s project that we’ve been involved in, but it was unusual in that it’s a listed building. The upper floors are currently being converted into residential properties and our project was held up a bit by that last year.
“In terms of the design, where we came from is that this is the furthest north Jamie’s has gone, and so we travelled to Aberdeen, and it’s cold! So we wanted the interior to be warming, which is where the terracotta came in. It acts as a kind of screen between the floors, and it’s visible from all parts of the restaurant and that itself, with its earthy, mediterranean look, brings a natural warmth to the space. We envisaged customers seeking a cosy refuge on, say, a cold January evening. Then, of course, there were the staples, like the open kitchen, as the process on show is always a major consideration for Jamie, as is the inclusion of the shop.” The design of the landmark building has been sympathetic to the architecture of the listed building, which is also a bit of a retail landmark to the folks of Aberdeen. In fact, it was part restoration, with the windows, cast iron structure and wooden floors all given a brand new lease of life. The dilapidated exterior too has undergone similar treatment so that it now boasts a fully restored, repaired and cleaned frontage, and the original mosaic signage has been retained.
So does the building lend itself well to the interior design? Without a doubt! The exterior and the full wall of windows that wrap right around this corner premises on both floors, showcasing the interior and making the restaurant, is very inviting – particularly at night.
Some of the highlights inside for me were the splashes of industrial, with the exposed ventilation equipment on the ceiling, and the oversized pendant lighting. I was also struck by the terracotta screen which looks a bit like a giant wine rack and, like its Edinburgh counterpart, there’s also a bit of a rustic feel to the interior, on account of the lines of uncomplicated, no frills wooden chairs and tables and wooden flooring.
The restaurant is also on the lookout for any budding Banksy’s, that is to say a local artist to add something extra to the interior in the shape of a piece or street art or graffiti for one of the walls, in line with his other UK restaurants.

Jason Caddy


Borthwick Castle’s head chef to champion Scotland in National Chef of the Year

Tue 21st May 2019

Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle in Midlothian, is the only Scottish chef to have reached the semi-finals of this year's Natio... Read more.

DOUNE CASTLE IN STIRLING RENAMED TO CELEBRATE LEGACY OF GAME OF THRONES

Tue 21st May 2019

Pubs in Stirlingshire may get a boost from an influx of Game of Thrones fans making pilgrimages to the area.... Read more.

Plans submitted to re-open Glasgow’s Cabin restaurant

Tue 21st May 2019

Plans have been submitted with Glasgow City Council to re-open the Cabin restaurant on Dumbarton Road in the Whiteinch area of the city. It ... Read more.

Bloc+ pops up on former Nonya site

Mon 20th May 2019

Bloc pop-ups on former Nonya site John Burns, owner of Bloc+ on Bath Street in Glasgow has opened a Bloc pop-up on the site of the former N... Read more.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opens new McQueen Gin distillery

Mon 20th May 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened McQueen Gin's brand-new 6,200²ft distillery in Callander. ... Read more.

WINE AND TEA BAR OPENS

Mon 20th May 2019

The Chaumer is a recently opened teahouse and wine bar for Edinburgh’s Queen Street – with a very interesting back story. ... Read more.

New owners at Braeval Hotel

Thu 16th May 2019

Paul and Lyndy Geddes have taken over the Braeval Hotel and Bandstand Bar and Restaurant in Nairn. Lyndy was previously a director in an omb... Read more.

Max McFarlane joins the Ardgowan Distillery team

Thu 16th May 2019

Whisky maker Max McFarlane has joined the Ardgowan Distillery team – with a plan to create and release a new series of whiskies later thi... Read more.

McEwan’s Lager relaunches

Wed 15th May 2019

The new look McEwan’s Lager launches in on-trade this month.... Read more.

Today’s your last chance to enter the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt 105’ Cask Strength Cocktail Competition!

Wed 15th May 2019

Today’s the cut-off for entering the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt ‘105’ Cask Strength Cocktail Competition – so get your... Read more.

Brand News: Avva Scottish Gin

Wed 15th May 2019

CASK FINISH GIN FROM AVVA SCOTTISH GIN AVAILABLE TO TRADE CUSTOMERS FOR THE FIRST TIME The latest release of Cask Finish Gin from the brand ... Read more.

Brand News: Loch Lomond Whiskies

Wed 15th May 2019

Loch Lomond Whiskies’ Loch Lomond 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has triumphed at the Bartenders’ Brand Awards, including the to... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Tue 14th May 2019

Today we profile DANIEL ELPHINSTONE of Orchid in Aberdeen and DAVID GODDARD of Bar One, Inverness.... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Mon 13th May 2019

Today it's the turn of DIMI SAVVAIDIS The King of Islington Dundee and DANNY MCMANUS Kelvingrove Cafe Glasgow .... Read more.

WEST Brewery initiates employee ownership scheme

Mon 13th May 2019

WEST Brewery founder Petra Wetzel has established a Share Incentive Plan (SIP) and placed an initial 10% of the company’s shares into... Read more.

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S 20P DEPOSIT RETURN SCHEME GETS MIXED REACTIONS FROM LICENSEES AND TRADE BODIES

Thu 9th May 2019

The Scottish government‘s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) of 20p has been branded ‘ridiculous’ by one licensee, while others t... Read more.

New look for The Ploughman

Thu 9th May 2019

The Plough constellation is also known as The Big Dipper and the new-look bar at The Ploughman in Peterculter is hopefully set for anything ... Read more.

HIDE YOUR WHEESHT

Thu 9th May 2019

So far, the secret location of Glasgow’s only underground speakeasy, Wheesht, has been kept under wraps. ... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Thu 9th May 2019

This month we profile 10 of the best and today it's the turn of Jamie Swift of Edinburgh's Dragonfly and Sarah Berardi of Draffens in Dunde... Read more.

Dundee’s Blue Room

Wed 8th May 2019

AJ McMenemy, the operator behind the Dundee-based Macmerry 300 group that owns The King of Islington, Abandon Ship and Bird & The Bear has o... Read more.