Many of the food and beverage outlets are making the journey into transport or train station sites for the first time with the healthy fast-food restaurant chain Leon among the operators aiming to take advantage of the increase in travellers in the capital for the Olympics.
Work started on the railway development at King's Cross in 2007 with a concourse including food and beverage outlets at the centre-piece of the plans which will also aim to improve rail connections and increase capacity for more trains.
Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent co-founded Leon in 2004 and the chain now boasts 11 restaurants in the capital. The restaurant business, that defines it's vision as creating 'fast food heaven', has teamed up with HMSHost, a subsidiary of the global traveller food and beverage operator Autogrill, for the King's Cross site.
Vincent said the move into railway sites fits with the ambitions for the business which was a founding member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
“Our mission is to make it easy for everyone to eat good food. By bringing Leon to the heart of King’s Cross, we are a step closer to proving that fast food can be good food. We are excited to be a central part of such an iconic location. We hope to improve the lives and well-being of people who work nearby and who travel through the station,” he said.
Railway retailers grow
Announcing the businesses that will be taking up residence when the development is completed in March, Network Rail claimed the new station would mean over 55m passengers would be passing through King's Cross at a time when the 1.3bn who visit railway stations are contributing to quarterly sales growth of five per cent for railway retailers while high street sales fall.
Network Rail's head of reatail, Gavin McKechnie said: "Station retail continues to out perform the high street. We listened to what passengers and station users wanted and a new selection of casual dining restaurants, such as Leon, Prezzo, Giraffe, Benito’s Hat and Yalla Yalla, will provide a great choice of places to eat and meet, for travellers, shoppers and locals alike.
Benito's Hat and Yalla Yalla
Mexican bar and kitchen Benito's Hat and Lebanese and Middle Eastern street food restaurant Yalla Yalla are also among the operators moving into King's Cross in March opening fourth and third sites respectively for the businesses. London brewer and pub operator Fuller's will also have a presence with the Grade 1 listed old parcels office being transformed into a food pub named Parcels Yard.
The full list of food and drink operators moving into the new King's Cross concourse:
- Caffe Nero
- M&S Simply Food
- Pasty Shop
- Pret A Manger
- Upper Crust
- Yalla Yalla