Several new restaurants in London have gone down the toilet, but eager food fanatics still can't wait to get inside. These restaurants have capitalized on a new form of real estate in London, a city where space is at a premium.
Turning bathrooms into restaurants
When the prices go up, restaurateurs and other business owners must find new spaces. In London, there used to be many public underground toilets that have fallen into disrepair in the past decades. Many of these underground toilets have been decommissioned and are now available at bargain prices.
Tom Sellers, a young chef growing in fame, will be opening one of the most anticipated restaurants of 2013 in a former bathroom. The new establishment, called Story, will serve a variety of gourmet foods in an area that used to be a public restroom. While it may seem odd, this practice has been growing in popularity.
Going with the flow
While Story isn't trying to play up its role as a former bathroom, one other restaurant has been embracing it. The Attendant, a play on the bathroom attendant, has taken its roots as a former public toilet to heart. The bathroom that the coffee shop is based on was first built in Victorian times in 1890. Co-owner and operator Pete Tomlinson decided to keep as many of the former vestiges as possible, including the urinals.
Each former bathroom stall has been converted into a seat for patrons, and vintage hand driers still hang on the wall. Though the space is underground, Tomlinson was undeterred by the lack of natural light, comparing his new establishment to a similar cafe that might be found in a mall.
"I think you will always get the odd person that is put off by that, but, again, that's why we had to work so hard to create and make it into something really exciting and nice," said Tomlinson, who is very excited a about his idea, according to CBS.
Similar properties have been selling in London recently as well. One former bathroom sold for nearly $1 million just for the space alone. Another was converted into an apartment. Even outside of the city, the trend is catching on: Many establishments have been opening underground all over England. With so many empty spaces underneath cities all over the world, it's a wonder people didn't start doing this earlier.
Labels: Bathroom Accessories