Parramatta-based fans of Jamie Oliver are probably still mourning the loss of their very own Jamie's Italian. It's barely been a month since the restaurant closed abruptly amid a national ownership change. In April, The Jamie Oliver Group went into administration and handed over the management of its Australian restaurants to the Brisbane-based Hallmark Group; in June, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the western Sydney outpost had been closed after the group couldn't reach a rental agreement.
But now the site at Centenary Square is set to be a restaurant once more. Matt Moran's Solotel Group will open a second outpost of its CBD steakhouse Chophouse in October this year. The experience of the CBD venue — which Solotel bought from the now-defunct Keystone Group in 2016 — is set to be replicated in Parramatta, with the site set to score a new fit-out and a similar menu that features high-end cuts of steak, oysters, potato scallops and lots of sides.
The new Chophouse will be Solotel's second venue in Parramatta — it also runs the Albion Hotel on George Street — but it sounds like there's more where that came from. "We've had our eye on expanding west for a while now," said director Bruce Solomon. "And when the offer to open a restaurant in the hub of Parramatta presented itself we couldn't say no."
That, coupled with the fact that Surry Hills' Butter has opened in the suburb and Rockpool and Sake are slated to launch in 2020, makes it seem very likely that more and more inner-city restaurants will produce Parramatta clones. Fingers crossed one of them starts a $10 pasta deal to fill the void.
Chophouse will open at Centenary Square, Parramatta in October 2018. Check the website for details — we'll keep you notified on an opening date.