Three new food halls are set to open across London this year, including the UK’s largest in Oxford Street.
Sites in Fulham and Victoria have also been revealed by the Market Halls group, led by CEO and former property investor Andy Lewis-Pratt. He is joined by Simon Anderson of Pitt Cue Co who will take the role of director of restaurants and operations.
The group has said it plans to transform “unloved public spaces with special architectural or historical interest”, with three further sites in the capital planned.
Lewis-Pratt explained: “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.
“The majority of buildings we are working with were originally designed as bustling cultural or commercial hubs, but for whatever reason have been lying empty. 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.”
Architects FaulknerBrowns will work with the group to to transform the hubs, beginning with the former Edwardian ticket hall of Fulham Broadway station set to open in Spring 2018.
The Fulham site will include 10 kitchens, a bar and cater for up to 180 guests.
In Summer a bay of Victoria’s Terminus Place will open as a three-storey food hall with 14 kitchens, three bars and seating for 300.
The group’s most ambitious plan is for the former BHS building in London’s Oxford Street, which will become the largest food hall in the UK.
It will include areas for producers, retailers, restaurants, street food vendors, four bars, event spaces and a demo kitchen.
The team has said it will work with leading restaurants, new talent, small businesses and local suppliers.
Anderson added: “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.”