RLB and ISG deliver first James Martin Kitchen in shopping centre

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Julian King


Julian King


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Rider Levett Bucknall and ISG, the global construction services company, have delivered the first James Martin Kitchen (JMK) outlet within a shopping centre for the food travel experts, SSP. The first JMK outlet opened at Stansted Airport in April 2015.

The 100m2 site (with seating for 70+ covers) in Debenhams Lakeside, Essex, was delivered in four weeks in a live environment, on time and on budget, opening as planned, ahead of the peak Christmas trading period.

Incorporating reclaimed timber and ceramic tiling, the new décor creates atmospheric dining for shoppers in the middle of the hustling shopping floor. The fit-out, which used elements of offsite construction to maximise efficiency and quality in the process, also included the installation of brand new laminate flooring and the latest kitchen equipment.

Proper British Food

 JMK is a café serving ‘proper British food’ with a bespoke menu created by the celebrity chef James Martin. The new outlet is situated within the Debenhams store, opening directly onto the Lakeside Shopping Centre. The introduction of third party restaurant outlets, such as JMK, is part of a growing trend amongst retailers to provide greater in-store eating choices for their customers.

Julian King, retail partner for RLB, said: “We were very pleased to provide quantity surveying and project co-ordination services for SSP to deliver the James Martin Kitchen in Debenhams. It has been a really collaborative process; from the design stages we worked closely with the customer and ISG to ensure we managed the project and live environment in the best way whilst delivering successfully to the tight timetable.”

Kevin Dengate, managing director of ISG’s UK Retail business, said: “Completing this fit-out for an exciting new brand like James Martin Kitchens was a great opportunity to demonstrate how ISG’s experience and sector knowledge is invaluable to clients. In just four weeks, we were able to deliver a brand new décor to the space, providing a modern feel but with the character of traditional materials, reflecting the menu on offer. Working closely with RLB was an integral part of this project’s success as we were working in a live environment with a very short timeframe.”

Simon Smith, CEO of SSP UK, which operates the restaurant, said: “James Martin Kitchen has been a hit with airport and rail station passengers, and we are confident that it will be equally as well received at Debenhams in intu Lakeside.”