New food hall brand The Hall and start-up chicken restaurant concept Chiktopia have opened their first sites at the £72 million leisure extension to intu Lakeside.
The Hall is the first out-out-town concept from thriving London food hall operator Market Halls while Chiktopia is a new restaurant group created by a team of casual dining and branding experts and is yet to open anywhere else in the UK.
intu has selected the new brands and a range of other leisure and dining operators for the 175,000sq ft extension of the popular shopping destination which is predicted to boost intu Lakeside’s footfall by over 2 million a year according to data and analytics company CACI.
Hollywood Bowl, trampolining park Flip Out and restaurants Zizzis and TGI have launched venues there and further openings will include Puttshack, a hi-tech mini golf experience currently only operating in London, and a Nickelodeon family entertainment centre.
Casco Lounge, a café-bar from successful operator Loungers, is also opening next month.
Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director at intu, said: “We’re transforming one of the country’s most popular shopping centres into a major leisure destination for the south east and this is giving the brands taking space here a fantastic platform from which to thrive. Demand for space in the extension has been high and we’re working with some of the best operator out there as a result.
“The Hall and Chiktoptia are exciting new dining concepts for the UK and will offer intu Lakeside customer a completely new experience that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. They are both going to do extremely well here alongside our best-in-class leisure offer and the number of other dining operators taking space.”
The Hall brings together a range of independent food traders from across the south east in a 14,500 sq ft sized site with six kitchens, a coffee shop, pop-up areas for food trucks and two bars. It uses the big-city energy, theatre and excitement of street food to create a first-of-its-kind casual dining experience for an out-of-town shopping centre. Vendors include Burger And Beyond, Fundi Pizza and Curry On Naanstop.
Chiktopia is being led by Alastair Gordon, formerly of Ole & Steen, and advised by a group of senior industry figures including Dan Einzig, founder of Mystery Design, Mark Lilley, CEO of Abokado and Richard Morris MD of Tortilla. It will serve up fried and grilled chicken burgers and tenders, skinny fries, salads, wraps, vegan and veggie options and thick dairy shakes.
Andy Lewis-Pratt, CEO of Market Halls, said: This is an exciting avenue for Market Halls. The Hall will provide a new and vibrant social dining option for the 20 million visitors to intu Lakeside every year.”
Alastair Gordon of Chiktopia added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been chosen by intu to launch in this flagship new leisure scheme. It’s unusual for a start-up concept to have such a high profile first site but credit to everyone at intu who has taken the time to really understand our vision for Chiktopia.”