Aiming to become ‘a destination that Londoners will associate with great fun, exceptional food and true originality’, the 71 Blandford Street venue will host one two-week-maximum pop-up event a month, as well as back-to-back chef residencies in its open-plan kitchen.
Anna Templeton, one of four Shuttlecock directors, told BigHospitality: “We love the world of pop-ups and the people we’ve met through them, who are all very talented but face the same challenge as us: they’ve got great ideas, food and concepts, but it’s impossible to find a good space in London with a pop-up budget.
“We wanted to make one of the floors a space where we could create really cool pop-ups and give all the great people we’ve met a great space with a perfect kitchen, the lighting and the space they need, chairs and tables to be able to do their event and not cost the earth.”
Basement: pop-up events
The 150-capacity basement floor will hold monthly pop-up events (from dining to book launches and fashion shows) selected by the Shuttlecock team based on the quality of their food and concept. “We see all the pop-ups we will host as a partnership, so events that we have experienced and loved.
“We want people to know that if we’re hosting a pop-up it’s because we genuinely believe it’s amazing,” Templeton said, adding that street food vendors without pop-up experience but with an outstanding food concept were also considered.
Ground floor: chef residencies in family atmosphere
On the ground floor, Carousel will be an open-plan dining room providing chefs – mostly international – with an opportunity to share their menus with the London market. With floor to ceiling windows on two sides and outdoor seating front and back, the place will hold 40 to 50 diners.
“We wanted the ground floor to be the heart of Shuttlecock – an open kitchen that reminded us of our very big family meals, something that we really treasure. This is how we came up with the chef residency idea: chefs coming to London from around the world to share their menus. The whole concept is about sharing in a great vibe with great food,” Templeton explained.
She pointed out that the chefs showcasing their food at Carousel would not be Michelin-starred chefs, but rather well-known in their local area for providing great food.
London-based chefs will also be welcome at Carousel to try something different or test their concept before launching their own permanent restaurant.
From opening (20 August) to December there will be one two-week residency a month, but from 2015 Templeton explained that there will constantly be a chef residency.
“In the basement, the requirement is not that you’re a chef, it’s just that you’re very good at what you do in terms of a pop-up event, whereas on the ground floor we’re working with chefs that have been in the industry for a while,” she said about the difference between the two floors.
Top floor: airy space for corporate events
Finally, the top floor of the building (with standing room for 100 people) will house shuttlecock’s offices, with an airy space reserved for a different type of event, “more on the corporate side, for companies who would want to do something a bit different and not sit in a boring conference room,” she adds.