This is the second branch of Union Jacks, with the first opening in London’s Holborn last year. As brand guardian for the chef Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian chain, The Plant has worked with the brand on all restaurant projects. It worked with Blacksheep for the interiors of the Holborn Union Jacks branch.
Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, says, ‘The Union Jack brand doesn’t really have a central identity system. Essentially what we did was create an attitude and then each of the restaurants responds to that – it really isn’t a cookie-cutter approach.
‘There’s no one logo or colour system or traditional idea of a brand – each restaurant responds to the location.’
For the Chiswick branch, which is sited in a late-Victorian building, Central Design Studio drew on traditional greasy spoon cafes for inspiration. The space features exposed brickwork and steel, with bespoke Formica designs for the tabletops.
The ‘fly-poster’ effect seen in the Holborn branch has been used to create large awnings, and the space also features objects and ephemera that represent Britishness.
Utber says, ‘The menu is about “back-yard” food – things like local and seasonal produce, and it’s the same thing with the design of the restaurant. It’s kind of fun – there’s a lot of references to British subcultures like birdwatchers, train-spotters and punks.’
The red chequered staff uniforms are inspired by punks, rockers and mods, according to Utber. He says, ‘We wanted to build spaces for local people, so you really know it’s the Chiswick branch of Union Jacks and people can own it, spend time there and love it. It’s really important to deliver that to people.’
Four further Union Jacks branches will open this year, with the first of these set to open in Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre.