Union Jacks by Blacksheep

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

British design agency Blacksheep has completed its sixth project with celebrity restaurateur Jamie Oliver: a diner-style concept situated in the heart of London and serving a distinctly British menu, created by Oliver in collaboration with US pizza specialist Chris Bianco.

Called Union Jacks, the new restaurant is housed in the Renzo Piano-designed Central St Giles Piazza near Covent Garden. Neon lighting above the bar spells out the restaurant's name and a cinema-style board lists the range of flatbreads, salads, snacks and drinks available.

For the project, Blacksheep created a number of retro-style objects from scratch to give the restaurant a vintage feel. The decor includes knitted tea cosies, countertops printed with graph paper, and classroom-style wooden stools, and a printed menu uses a typewriter-style font to add to the sense of nostalgia.

Retro TV screens installed throughout the space show the chefs at work in the kitchen, and three internal walls both frame the space and house the wood-firing ovens the menu is centred around.

Jo Sampson, creative director of Blacksheep, said that the agency aimed to capture Oliver's "genuine spirit and honest approach to food and wider ethical concerns".

The second branch of Union Jacks is scheduled to open in Bluewater, Kent later this year.

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can also read about Meat Liquor - an underground bar which combines the dimly-lit atmosphere of an American divebar with the iniquity of Prohibition-era drinking.