[Updated 7/11/2011] Union Jacks should be open from 17 November 2011.
More details are emerging about what sort of things will be on the menu when Jamie Oliver opens his first Union Jacks in Central St Giles in November. Some new blurb on the restaurant's website explains that the restaurant will be where 'wood-fired flatbreads meet great British flavours. At Union Jacks, we want to take you on a journey of discovery through Britain and reintroduce you to familiar flavours, cooked and presented the Union Jacks way.
"Nearly all of the ingredients for the toppings are unabashedly local. We take a lot of pride in our sourcing philosophy, and look to our own back garden first in order to celebrate the wonderful growers, farmers and winemakers we have here in this country."
They've certainly got the right person on board to ensure that the flatbreads will be top-notch. Chris Bianco, owner and head chef of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix has been turning out pizzas for more than 15 years of a calibre so noteworthy people often queue for hours for a taste of it.
Martha Stewart said of Pizzeria Bianco that it "just might be one of the world's best pizzerias (yes, including Italy!)" Unfortunately Bianco's asthma eventually made working right by a wood-fired oven every night an impossibility, so he's been looking for new opportunities and Union Jacks seems to be it - Bianco's come on board as a business partner in the newly-formed company Jamie Bianco.
According to the Union Jacks' spiel, the moment of clarity came in a visit to London two years ago. "Chris fell in love with the produce and vibrant food culture he found in the markets, pubs and shops around Britain. Inspired and excited, he decided to stay and work with Jamie to create Union Jacks."
The Central St Giles Union Jacks when it opens in November 2011 will be the chain's flagship restaurant. If you're not too clear on where exactly CSG is, it's a new development tucked in behind Centrepoint, between New Oxford St and Charing Cross Road. There'll also be a Byron and a Peyton and Byrne Cafe on site as well as Cabana - the first of a new chain of Brazilian restaurants from the men behind Hush and Momo.
For more upcoming London restaurants, check out our Coming Soon list.