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Emma Underwood appointed general manager at Julie's

Emma Underwood has taken on the role of general manager at Julie's in Holland Park, London, in anticipation of its upcoming spring relaunch.

The long-standing restaurant, famed for its eccentric interiors and a legacy of hosting celebrities like Paul McCartney, Kate Moss, and Tina Turner, shut its doors in December 2022, marking the end of a 53-year run.

Cordon Bleu-trained chef Tara MacBain acquired the establishment last year, and under her ownership, it is set to reopen this spring. Renowned chef Owen Kenworthy, formerly associated with Brawn and Pelican, will be taking charge of the kitchen.

Underwood comes on board from Patrick Powell's Midland Grand Dining Room at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. In her previous role, she spearheaded the front-of-house team during the restaurant's opening last year.

Hailing from North Wales, Underwood commenced her career in the hospitality industry in the north-west of England, gaining experience at Gary Usher's establishments, including Sticky Walnut and Burn Truffle, along with Where The Light Gets In in Stockport.

In 2018, Underwood relocated to London, taking a position at Stem in Mayfair. Subsequently, she served as the general manager at Robin Grill's Darby's for a two-year period. Following that, she took charge of the front-of-house team at Sally Abe's The Pem.

On joining Julie's, Underwood said: 'Upon meeting Tara and Owen, I was struck by their passion and plans for Julie's and it felt like the perfect new venture for me.

'I love the story behind the famed institution and together we are looking forward to rebuilding its reputation as a beloved neighbourhood gem with true hospitality at its heart.'

Upon reopening, Julie's is set to transform into a contemporary French brasserie, boasting a total of 160 covers. The seating will be distributed across a ground floor dining room and bar, a basement dining area, and an outdoor alfresco terrace.

The revamped Julie's will feature a comprehensive all-day menu, including a raw seafood bar. Additionally, patrons can indulge in table-side cocktails served from a martini trolley, enhancing the overall dining experience.

MacBain said: 'Emma brings a dynamic blend of strong values, profound ethos and a visionary approach to hospitality that aligns perfectly with the spirit of Julie's. With Emma joining Owen Kenworthy, our esteemed chef patron, and myself, we embark on an exciting new chapter for Julie's.'