New street food market The Upper Place looking to bring regional and overseas brands to capital

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Facebook: @nagsheadmarket
Facebook: @nagsheadmarket

Related tags: Market, Street food, Restaurant

The managing director of The Italian Job pub group is to launch a street food market concept, with plans to expand it in London and other areas of the UK.

Simone Moroni has teamed up with the owners of The Nags Head Market in Holloway to launch The Upper Place in January 2019.

The 7,000 sq ft space will open on the first floor of the market, with 17 upstairs traders and five on a ground floor court.

Details of the vendors are still being firmed up, but Moroni told BigHospitality​ they could include regional and overseas brands making their London debut. He also says he is negotiating with “one of the best pizza chefs in Italy” to take a spot.

“He is very successful and runs his own pizzerias already and is in international guides, he is considering us to open his first pizzeria in the UK,” says Moroni.

“We are talking to mixed operators, they are going to mostly do food but also some wine bars.

“Some are not well established in London, they might be very successful in Birmingham or Manchester, some are very successful in Spain. Some are brand new, have been working for someone else in the past and decided they want to run their own business.”

The Italian Job, which has two London pubs and a site at Mercato Metropolitano, will open a large upper level bar and a smaller site on the lower floor focusing on craft beer.

Traders will start on flexible two year contracts, taking either full-size units of 20-25 sqm, or smaller 10-12 sqm spots. Diners will sit at communal tables and the market has applied to open a roof terrace, which it hopes will be open by next spring.

Expansion plans

Moroni adds that the team is keen to open more street food markets, likely under the Upper Place moniker.

He says: “We would definitely like to open more. We partnered with the landlord who owns several properties of this kind [in London]. Fresh food markets now are being converted to street food markets as a way of evolving business wise.

“We are also considering other cities where these concepts are less present, Birmingham for example. We need to make this first one successful and adjust where we need to, then we can think about expanding.”

Crowded market

A raft of similar street food markets are currently expanding in London, with the Market Halls concept opening in Victoria this month​ and Oxford Street next year, while Boxpark Wembley launches in December.

Despite this competition Moroni says the Upper Place had no issue finding traders and that the appeal of the market concepts was 'obvious'.

"If a big group with different tastes can go to a place where there are a variety of great quality options then it’s more enjoyable for them to go out together," he says.

"[These spaces] can also host events. The formula is very flexible, what’s not to like?"

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Street Food

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