Richmond residents ‘distraught’ at new Ottolenghi deli

Locals said they feared ‘dozens’ of guests ‘pouring out’ of the restaurant


(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

A new Ottolenghi restaurant is set to open in London’s Richmond despite furious opposition from a handful of residents.

The deli and restaurant from the Israeli celebrity chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi, was granted permission by Richmond Council after locals in the south-west suburb objected to the new restaurant at a licensing hearing on 29 January 29.

The chef, 45, who is credited with popularising pomegranate seeds, za’atar, and date molasses in British kitchens and has sold more than 11 million cookbooks,already has six delis across London, including the newly opened Ottolenghi Hampstead, and two standalone restaurants, Nopi and Rovi.

The announcement of Ottolenghi’s Richmond deli came after an uproar in the south-west suburb, as locals objected to the new restaurant at the council’s licensing hearing on January 29.

The deli will occupy an empty furniture showroom on Hill Street, which already boasts a number of other restaurants. including a Côte and an Ivy. esidents reportedly did not want further noise in the area.

Sean Chapman told the council that the restaurant would pump “out into the evening dozens of people per night into an area that’s already febrile”.

He added: “It’s extremely disconcerting to live there now and I’d like to suggest that you all have a duty of care to the town and to your council taxpayers to ensure that this kind of application gets reined in because it is becoming completely intolerable to live here.”

Neighbour Rachel Woolner also said she was “very distraught” at the application. She said: “I’m really concerned about the noise of people coming and going, the constant bikes coming to collect… orders.”

The news comes as the borough claimed the top spot in Rightmove’s “happy home index”, the first time a London location has ever done so. According to Rightmove, Richmond’s access to restaurants was a key factor in its winning score.

With planning permission now granted, the 232 sq m site will be remodelled in a project expected to cost up to £2m and be complete by May 2024. It will employ 45 people.

The deli will be open from 9 am to 10.30 pm daily and will sell wine from 10 am to 10 pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 12 pm to 10 pm on Sundays.

News of the Richmond deli is the second time that the Israeli chef has been in the headlines this week, as it emerged today that Ottolenghi has been targeted by fraudsters, who have used a misspelt version of the restaurant name to open a bank account and apply for loans. Heston Blumenthal and the Ritz were also targeted by the fraudsters.

Speaking to the BBC, the Ottolenghi company said: “Anyone who infringes our intellectual property or attempts to cause confusion with our brand or profit from our reputation, will have robust action taken against them.”

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