The group, which currently operates four restaurants in central London, will open the ‘restaurant in residence’ on 15 September within the glass-covered market building in the centre of Covent Garden’s piazza.
The restaurant will host a series of guest chef evenings and events in the run up to Christmas, the details of which will be announced nearer the time.
Serving an all-day modern British menu the restaurant comes as part of Canteen’s ambition to operate from smaller A1 units in a bid to continue expansion plans.
Patrick Clayton-Malone, co-founder of Canteen along with business partner Dominic Lake, said the pair wanted to take advantage of a high footfall space without ‘the usual technical restraints and more flexibility’.
“Covent Garden wanted to do something interesting in a space they had empty for a short period of time and we decided to put together a project where we host various events in the run up to Christmas. We’ve done quite a few temporary pop-ups before so we just thought we’d do it.”
However Clayton-Malone added that although securing property was the most challenging aspect of expanding, the pair had been fortunate to come across several potential A1 and A3 sites in central London.
“The biggest issue when it comes to expanding is property. There’s a lot of competition for sites and people are prepared to pay large premiums for them. So far we’ve been lucky because people want Canteen in their space as it’s quite unique and we’re the only British food offer with plans to expand at that level. We’ve always set out to take Canteen to the high street so even though it’s competitive to get good restaurants, we feel like we can get them.
“In terms of finding permanent sites for us it’s now a case of choosing which one. It’s not a problem finding either A1 or A3 sites right now. We’ve got opportunities out there but we’re not in a position to say where yet.”
In May Canteen revealed plans to grow its portfolio to 15 restaurants within the next five years. At the same time it appointed Mark Sargeant as consultant chef and Richard Edney, formerly of The Swan Collection as executive head chef following the departure of Cass Titcombe in April.