Gentrification seems to be plaguing every high street, so it’s refreshing news that a bit of culture over retail will be injected into Oxford Street.
The empty space that used to be BHS is set to be transformed into a massive food hall, boasting 25 (hopefully independent) restaurants, food stalls, and a demo kitchen, opening to the public in autumn.
The former department store space will be the new flagship branch of a new venture bringing three permanent food markets to London.
In true hipster fashion, a disused tube station ticket hall will also undergo a makeover to make way for a food market in Fulham, opening in April.
In Victoria, a nightclub is also set to transform, ready for the summer.
Tourists and Londoners travelling to the capital’s central spots will be spoiled for choice as more than 50 bars and eateries are said to be featured between the three markets.
Restaurants haven’t been named yet but start-ups will have the chance to show off their culinary skills, competing with well-known brands and street food traders.
It comes after the success of popular tourist markets such as in Barcelona, New York, and Bangkok.
Market hall details
Market Hall Fulham, launching in April, 10 kitchens, 1 bar, 10,000 sq ft
Market Hall Victoria, launching in summer, 14 kitchens, 3 bars, 14,000 sq ft
Market Hall West End, launching autumn, 25 kitchens, 4 bars, 10 food stalls, event space, demo kitchen, 36,000 sq ft
Off the back of his success with barbecue joint, the Pitt Cue Co, Simon Anderson is the man in charge of the market in London’s West End.
He said: ‘We want the traders to retain the sense of individuality and autonomy that they’ve achieved from owning their stand-alone food business, so are encouraging them to be innovative and allow their identities to shine through. Food is the new rock and roll and we’re providing the perfect stage’.
Organisers told Metro.co.uk: ‘The sites will be as environmentally sound as possible with plates, bowls, glasses and cutlery, replacing the disposable tableware that have become synonymous with street food, and we will not be using plastic straws on site’.
It will also be run by property investor Andy Lewis-Pratt who added: ‘Food halls are nothing new of course, but we want to create permanent dining hubs that work for the community, something we haven’t seen yet in the UK. We wanted to bring these sites back to life and make them useful spaces for the community, places that cater for locals, workers, families and visitors alike’.
Fulham Broadway station will lend its Edwardian ticket hall to the market after it became redundant when a shopping centre opened its entrance to the staion in 2003.
It is the first to open and will be the smallest out of the three, featuring 10 restaurants and a bar seating 180 people.
Market Hall Victoria will taking over the nightclub Pacha’s site in Terminus Place and offer 14 restaurants, three bars and seating for 300.
But the markets will have more of indoor dining vibes than a market feel as it said to have proper cutlery, crockery and glassware.
Those travelling to the popular spots, brace yourselves, London is about to get a whole lot busier this summer.