Over 90 per cent of hospitality operators in the West End now open for business, says Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury, the Real Estate Investment Trust which invests exclusively in the liveliest parts of London's West End, has confirmed that more than 90 per cent of its food & beverage operators have reopened their doors to customers since restrictions eased and indoor dining returned on Monday, 17 May.
Following outdoor dining opening up on 12 April, 60 per cent of the food & beverage operators across the company’s portfolio, which includes Carnaby, Chinatown, Fitzrovia, Seven Dials and Soho were open for business, either via a takeaway capacity or with customers utilising the al fresco seating available and, with restrictions on indoor dining now lifted, it has led to a further 30 per cent of the portfolio reopening its doors over the past 10 days alone.
The success of the country’s vaccination programme, combined with the progress being made against the Government’s cautious roadmap out of lockdown, as well as the growth in footfall seen across the West End since reopening in April, has led to increasing optimism within the hospitality sector. This means that an increasing number of new tenants are looking to take space in Shaftesbury’s iconic villages.
This year, Shaftesbury has announced several new and exciting tenants across the portfolio, including Wing Wing, Chinatown Bakery, Pam’s and Bar Crispin (opening soon), all of which will add further depth to the extensive food & beverage offering. Nine existing operators are also currently undergoing extensive refitting projects so visitors can expect an array of new experiences as these restaurants, bars and cafés reopen.
Julia Wilkinson, Restaurant Director, says: “The return of indoor dining is a huge milestone for the West End and our iconic villages. Since April, when the hospitality industry was first able to reopen its doors, our communities have come together to create safe and welcoming environments for visors so that the restaurants, bars and cafés received the best restart possible. Now, with indoor dining permitted once again, we expect to see footfall continue to grow and the support being shown to this vital industry continue.
“The West End has always been a unique and exhilarating place, so we are particularly pleased to see a number of new operators looking for space in our iconic villages as we move out of lockdown and look forward to making further announcements on some of these exciting new operators in the weeks ahead.”
Following opening in Chinatown earlier this year, Carl Kjellqvist, Managing Director at Wing Wing, commented on the brand’s ongoing relationship with Shaftesbury: “Shaftesbury has been very supportive as we prepared to open our flagship restaurant in Chinatown London. The pandemic has created additional challenges, yet Shaftesbury has stood with us throughout. From day one, the team welcomed us into the Chinatown community, providing marketing support and creating additional public seating in Newport Place, this has helped us have the best start possible and we are delighted with the results.”
The launch by Barworks Group of Pam’s, previously The Diner on Ganton Street, marked the latest of the new hospitality experiences in the portfolio when they officially opened their doors on Monday, 24 May.
Marc Francis-Baum for Barworks says: “The past year has been a horrific time for my business and for many. We need help to get back to where we were, but most of all we need patience and understanding from Landlords. Shaftesbury have not only been patient and understanding, they have been supportive. They have looked forward and recognised the need for partnership through these unprecedented times. We needed help and Shaftesbury gave it.”