Opening in spring, summer and autumn, the ‘Market Hall’ brand will turn unused public spaces with “architectural or historic interest” into food halls, one of which is expected to be the largest in the country.
The first market hall will open in Fulham this spring. Occupying the former ticket hall of the Edwardian Underground station in Fulham Broadway, it will comprise 10 kitchens, a bar and 180-cover seating.
The second opening, in summer 2018, will be in the arcaded bays opposite Victoria station on the site of former superclub Pacha. The 300-cover site will span three storeys, and will open with14 kitchens and three bars.
The final confirmed market opening will be in the West End, in the former BHS building near Oxford Circus. It is billed as being the largest food hall in the UK, and will house a host of local producers, retailers, restaurants and street food vendors as well as four bars, a demo kitchen and space for events.
Coinciding with the planned pedestrianisation of Oxford Circus, it will be the flagship venue for the Market Hall group.
“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,” says Lewis-Pratt.
“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.”
Each Market Hall will be slightly different, dependent on the area both in terms of the food on offer, and the aesthetic.
Vendors, which are yet to be announced, are expected to have a large amount of creative control over their businesses within the brand.
“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,” says Anderson.