JKS Restaurants to help revive failed Arcade Food Theatre, promising eight new kitchens

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New beginnings: the current project failed to catch the public’s imagination, but is hoping to reverse its fortunes (JKS Restaurants)
New beginnings: the current project failed to catch the public’s imagination, but is hoping to reverse its fortunes (JKS Restaurants)

The group behind some of the capital’s most acclaimed restaurants – including Gymkhana, Hoppers and the recently relaunched Kitchen Table – are to tackle their next challenge, as they step in to help shore up the failed Arcade Food Theatre, reviving it as the Arcade Food Hall. It’s perhaps worth noting the original “theatre” moniker was much-mocked.

JKS Restaurants, who are partnering with the existing Arcade team on the project, are set to totally overhaul the critically-mauled site, which opened in the summer of 2019 beneath the Centre Point tower on Tottenham Court Road. Despite an initially promising line-up of restaurants – Flat Iron, Lina Stores, Chotto by Chotto Matte among the seven, with three bars and a bakery to boot – the hub failed to draw its predicted 1,000 Londoners a day and has quietly remained closed since last year. It had initially shut temporarily owing to the various lockdowns, but has since failed to begin trading again. Its website remains at the same address, though it has been overhauled by JKS, likewise the hall’s existing Instagram account.

The new project is due to open in November.

JKS are completely redoing the site, replacing all the existing restaurants with outposts from their stable. While the exact operators are to be confirmed, there will be eight kitchens in the space and an independent restaurant set up on the mezzanine level. The group are promising “regional Thai curries, Indonesian street food, North Indian fast food, Spanish tapas, Middle Eastern shawarma, Japanese sushi, and American-style burgers.”

Success story: the Sethi family, who are behind JKS (JKS Restaurants)
Success story: the Sethi family, who are behind JKS (JKS Restaurants)

Elsewhere, there will be a bar, a counter dining experience, al fresco eating and a “daily provisions counter” serving coffee, pastries and sandwiches – though presumably not the “small” £14 ham sandwiches that drew ire from the Guardian’s Grace Dent – as well as what the PR bluff describes as “and an immersive dessert experience from the UK’s most exciting confectionery connoisseurs.” Less oblique details will follow later in the year.

Unlike the existing site, all orders can be placed at a table using what JKS call “London’s first digital food hall”, which is effectively an app letting diners choose a variety of dishes from any of the eight kitchens at once. Takeaway can also be ordered using it.

Jyotin Sethi, JKS’s CEO, said of the venture: “We’re delighted to finally reveal the new Arcade at Centre Point. We’ve always had the aspiration to create a venue that hosts a breadth of creative new brands as well as fostering up and coming talent within the hospitality industry.

“Arcade is the perfect space for us to do this, both with the physical site and through London’s first digital food hall.”

For more information, visit arcade-london.com

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