Looks like the famous high-end London institution has eyes on ‘The Pavilion’
“IN 2017, there could be an Ivy opening near you...” announces The Ivy’s official website, mysteriously.
But then, it seems there’s an Ivy opening just about everywhere: York, Birmingham, Leeds, Oxford, Bath, Glasgow, Exeter…
The news follows talk in recent months of an aggressive brand roll-out by owners Caprice Holdings, which operates some of the capital’s top restaurants including La Caprice, Scott’s, J Sheekey and Sexy Fish – a ludicrous aquatic-themed seafood restaurant in Mayfair opened in 2015 at a cost of around £15m.
And then there was that video from Kylie, yes Minogue, wishing Manchester (and all the other prospective cities) a Merry Christmas, accompanied by the message: ‘We look forward to seeing you in 2017!’
So Confidential put in a call to The Ivy to see if they might reveal their plans but got the inevitable: “All we can say at this time is that we are looking at potential sites for The Ivy Collection in Manchester”.
So then Confidential put in a call to all of the property types we bother when such things arise, where the general consensus was that The Ivy lot had been sniffing around Spinningfields for some time - which makes sense, given that in September we were chatting to a representative of the group at a dinner given by estate developers Allied London at London Road Fire Station.
So then where? The old Giraffe site is up for grabs, but that’s not big enough. There’s the new No.1 Spinningfields tower, but D&D Restaurants have already laid claim to that. Of course, there were rumours that the Oast House was soon for the off, but any new development would be years off.
Ah! The Pavilion! Remember that? The new four-storey timber structure proposed by Allied back in July 2016, occupying the space where The Lawn Club used to sit in what has been rebranded as ‘The Field’ – read here.
Has to be. So we put in some more calls. It is (though the deal isn't yet concrete). One source told us it's likely The Ivy would take on the majority, if not all, of the sustainable new Spinningfields structure: "I doubt The Ivy would be keen to share".
Unfortunately, Allied London were unavailable to comment.
The general consensus was that The Ivy lot had been sniffing around Spinningfields for some time
Though it’s not going to be an easy task replicating a century of glamour and hospitality history, The Ivy Collection does already encompass a few offshoots in the form of Ivy Grills, Brasseries and Ivy Cafés located in smart London suburbs such as St John’s Wood and Wimbledon (pictured above).
The Ivy Grills & Brasseries offer extensive all-day dining featuring modern British dishes and cocktails that nod to their Ivy heritage in a ‘sophisticated yet approachable, casual yet polished’ atmosphere.
Ivy Cafés also offer accessible all-day dining, with no reservation needed. They serve cream teas as well as cocktails, light bites or more hearty meals, in a friendly environment apparently ‘for those looking for a more informal yet still stylish experience.’
The luxury restaurant group has as yet offered no clues as to whether Manchester can expect an Ivy Grill & Brasserie or an Ivy Café, although we suspect it’s the latter. For now, we’re just calling it Ivy Lite and keeping our ears to the ground.
The Ivy and D&D Restaurants within a truffle arancini throw of one another? Why, we remember when Spinningfields was all GBKs, Café Rouges, Slugs & Lettuces… that still there? Oh dear. Don't tell Caprice.