Buoyant restaurant market follows a theme

Recreations of a New York subway and stretches of Broadway are to be incorporated into a new themed restaurant planned for central London.

The venture called It’s Showtime! is proposed by songwriter Geoff Morrow. It is one of a clutch of large-scale London restaurants and clubs in the pipeline. This is despite predictions of recession and a saturated themed restaurants market which has already contributed to the downfall of the supermodels’ Fashion Café.

It’s Showtime!, to open in the New Year in Shaftesbury Avenue, will be “camp, kitsch and fun” with a New York deli and a mural of the Manhattan skyline.

Designer Carl Dawson, a celebrity home specialist, says the concept will offer more than burger-joint style themed cafés.

“I’m trying to make it fun and tongue-in-cheek, but actually clever and sophisticated,” he says.

The ground floor will be Broadway themed, while the lower ground floor includes an Edwardian-style Showtime Theatre restaurant and a bar in two New York subway carriages.

Meanwhile, the former Design Centre in London’s Haymarket is to be transformed into a 3m bar/restaurant and club designed by Tibbatts for backer Chorian.

Tiger Tiger, which opens next month with a capacity of 1770, will be an eclectic mixture of linked themed spaces arranged over four floors. It will include a walk-in deli, a Latin-themed restaurant, a basement nightclub and three bars.

Research by Foodservice Intelligence predicts a saturated themed restaurant market, fuelled by an imminent reduction in the 25-34 age group target market.

However, as restaurants continue to open, the Restaurateurs Association of Great Britain reports no signs yet that the recession has hit.

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