Jamie Oliver made a bank-busting find recently when builders renovating his latest restaurant found treasures worth £1.1m in the basement.
The celebrity chef has converted an old Midland bank in Manchester and in the process workmen found hundreds of safety deposit boxes dating back to 1935.
Despite efforts from the Bank of England, the owners of the boxes could not be traced and so bank bosses used drills to bust them open – and uncovered gold, sparkling jewellery and valuable master tapes of Salford bands New Order and Joy Division.
Speaking to The Sun, a source said: “There was all sorts in the boxes – even a gun in one.”
Jamie’s posh new restaurant spans three floors of the old bank building and covers the basement vault room, the main banking hall on the ground floor and the mezzanines antechambers in the old clerks’ offices.
Talking about the new restaurant recently, Jamie said: “The Manchester restaurant is going to be one of the jewels in the Jamie’s Italian crown. It’s a fantastic building in a vibrant, exciting city and I know the people of Manchester are going to love it.”
The new restaurant, which opens on Tuesday, is located next door to Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand’s Italian eaterie Rosso.
Speaking about his new diner being on the same street as Rio, Jamie told The Sun: “I haven’t had the chance to eat in his restaurant yet. But I know this is his ‘hood.
“I don’t know if we’re competition. Our pricing is very different and probably our clientele will be different too.”