Former city centre restaurant Jamie’s Italian will be reopening its doors early next year – as a massive Chinese restaurant.
The huge Bullring venue, overlooking St Martin’s Church will open as Haidilao – a restaurant devoted to the Chinese Hot Pot cooking method – traditional hot pots of broth and raw ingredients brought to every table for diners.
Haidilao was founded in 1994 in China’s Sichuan Province which is famous for its Hot Pot cooking, also known as Chinese Fondue.
Haidilao has more than 750 restaurants around the world including two in London.
Its Birmingham site will be its first outside the capital.
A spokesperson for Haidilao said: “As the UK’s second city, and one with a large multi-cultural population, Birmingham is the ideal location for the first restaurant outside of London. In our national expansion plans, the Bullring provides us with the high footfall, strong reputation and central position that we seek.”
The collapse of Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant empire in May 2019 led to the immediate closure of the 8,073 sq ft Bullring venue.
In November the building was briefly transformed into an illuminated winter wonderland.
‘Once Upon A Time in Birmingham’ – the brainchild of immersive experience experts Bompas and Parr opened over the festive season – showcasing a 88,000 fairy lights installation measuring more than 9km in length.
The huge site has been empty since then.
Iain Mitchell, UK Commercial Director at Hammerson, said: “Bullring and Grand Central remains one of the nation’s leading retail and leisure destinations, and the fact that a global brand like Haidilao has chosen the centre for its first restaurant outside of London really demonstrates that. Restaurants and bars are having a really tough time at the moment, but today’s announcement shows that with the right brand in the right location, there is still scope for growth.”
Haidilo joins other Chinese Hot Pot restaurants Han Dynasty on Station Street, Hot 7 (unit 2 Southside B5) Xiong Qi Hot Pot Essex Street and Genting Casino Hurst Street – located in Chinatown.