Brighton’s renovated Shelter Hall is set to become home to up to ten independent local restaurants and street food vendors.
Sessions Market has signed a lease to turn the rebuilt seafront building into a food hall, while the Rotunda Cafe above will become champagne and oyster bar Riddle & Finns new seafront location.
The council, in conjunction with commercial property agent Savills, invited businesses to submit food and drink proposals for the two properties earlier this summer as the multi-million pound project to re-build the Shelter Hall and strengthen the seafront arches started to come to a close.
The project, which was originally scheduled to finish last summer, is now expected to be completed early next year.
All vendors will be encouraged to source ingredients from Sussex producers. There will be seating for over 250 diners.
There will also be two bars on the upper and lower levels, run by the Sessions team and serving locally brewed beer. The project is expected to create over 100 new full-time jobs for local people and vendors will be encouraged to offer apprenticeships.
Plans also incorporate a space designed for local initiatives and activities within the city such as local music, art groups and film screenings.
Council leader Nancy Platts said: “We are really excited about this project which reflects our commitment to community wealth building – creating opportunities for independent local businesses, jobs for residents and ensuring that money spent in the city stays in the city.
“We also welcome the commitment from Sessions to using locally sourced produce and working closely with many local groups including the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and food waste company Karma, along with its support for our Living Wage campaign.
“Residents and visitors can look forward to enjoying the very best of Brighton & Hove’s diverse food offering, knowing that they are helping to support the local economy.”
Sessions Market is led by CEO Dan Warne, previously managing director at Deliveroo, and its chair is restaurant veteran Graham Turner.
Mr Warne said: “We’re incredibly excited to be chosen to deliver our ethically-driven, immersive, food hall concept to the much anticipated Shelter Hall seafront development.
“Sessions’ world-class vision combines the best food, drink and entertainment from the top and emerging food offers across Brighton and Hove. And we already have a number of the city’s favourite independent restaurants supporting our plans and ready to join us.
“Sustainability, community and local philanthropy are at the centre of our business model. With a local team on board, community partnerships already in place and a financial model set to give back to the community, we say roll on 2020.”
Kieron Sherlock, Property Director at Imbiba, investors for Sessions Market, said: “We’re delighted to be backing the new Food Hall for Sessions Market Ltd on Brighton’s famous seafront, Shelter Hall is an iconic venue which will showcase the very best of Brighton and Hove’s exciting food scene all under one roof.
“It’s a new dining concept for the city which meets the demands from modern diners to have great experiences in beautiful places.”
The Rotunda, on the street level, will be the new beach location for Riddle & Finns, the champagne and oyster bar which has been a prominent name in the city for nearly 14 years.
Rob Shenton, Director and proprietor of Riddle & Finns, said: “We are delighted to bring the Riddle & Finns experience to this new exciting venue for Brighton and Hove. The restoration of the Shelter Hall and Rotunda has been an ambitious project and we are very impressed with the building.
“Having been a business on the beach for 16 years with Due South previously we are pleased to be involved with this incredible improvement to our much loved beach. We are also excited to be able to offer a truly incredible view for every customer.”
The Shelter Hall project is part of the council’s Seafront Investment Programme, funded from government grants including a £9 million investment award from the Department for Transport’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, borrowing and council money.
The scheme also includes public toilets located on the lower promenade, with a new walkway and sea wall. The busy West Street junction is also being remodelled to help people and traffic flow more smoothly.