Care to eat dinner underground? The ever-expanding choices for dining in London might soon find you under the earth. Westminster Council is putting an old Word War II bomb shelter on the block and it just happens to be in one of London’s most popular restaurant areas; Soho. Theshelter, which sits underneath Soho Square, is being optioned for a long lease for £175,000, which seems like a bargain in Central London. The council expects that it will take another £1-2 Million to restore the shelter and make it into a functioning space.
As the London Evening Standard has reported:
The “remarkable” 3,200 sq ft brick and concrete shell where hundreds of Londoners sought refuge from the ferocity of the German Blitz lies directly under the gardens of Soho Square just off Oxford Street.
Westminster Council is offering a long lease on the shelter, which has already attracted interest from at least three restaurant groups and gym and music venue operators.
David Hooper of agents GVA, which is handling the letting, said: ”The restaurant market in central London is so hot at the moment that anything new and interesting is going to be well received. It’s going to need a couple of million spent on a fit out but people don’t seem to be put off by that. The floor to ceiling height is incredibly good.
The shelter was one of many that were built in London when war broke out in 1939. Leslie Hardcastle, president of the Soho Society, said he recalls spending the night in the shelter several times during the war. It will be interesting to see what appears underground. We of course, are hoping for a restaurant!