The much-anticipated restoration of Brighton seafront’s Shelter Hall is nearly complete. Shelter Hall Raw is moving in and giving the local food and drinks community and fledgling new brands the opportunity to trade.
Having undergone a design overhaul to provide a dining experience that meets Covid-19 social distancing and safety guidelines, the new Shelter Hall Raw opens on Saturday 4 July. It will be open daily from 11am to 11pm Monday to Thursday, with a later close of midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 9pm on Sundays. Coffee and ice cream will be available on the terrace outside between 9am and 7pm. All food stalls will stop serving an hour before the venue shuts.
Shelter Hall Raw is a unique new pop-up food market that brings together an eclectic line-up of Brighton’s best food and drinks brands under one roof. The emphasis is on seasonality, fresh artisan produce, and supporting local businesses and the local community, especially SMEs and start-ups, to flourish in the difficult times brought on by Covid-19.
Shelter Hall Raw will house up to ten of the city’s brightest culinary businesses under its historic roof on a pop-up, rotation basis. Included in the launch line-up are local favourites Fatto a Mano, Lost Boys Chicken, Carlito Burrito, Brighton Coffee Works, Toasted by GB Charcuterie and Smorls, all offering their specialties to eat in or take-away.
Safety measures taken to avoid any spread of the virus include minimising contact between staff and customers, with orders taken via a mobile app, thegoodtill.com, using an apple or android device. Food and drink will be delivered to tables for guests to dine in or ready for collection at a separate takeaway window.
All steps have been taken to maximise the large hall space and keep social distances. Access will be via one entrance so staff can closely monitor the number of people in the building at any given time. Tables will be distanced, some fitted with screens, with groups limited to four people. Most importantly, all staff will be fully briefed on safety and social distancing measures.
The project has been led by Session Market’s CEO Dan Warne, previously managing director at Deliveroo. “Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit sectors in the pandemic,” says Warne, “and Shelter Hall Raw provides a new, safe environment from which these businesses can now operate, as many have been unable to fully reopen. In the future, when it’s safe to do so, we will extend this space to local musicians, DJs and artists. Our vision has always been to run a vibrant community-led space on the beach. We want it to feel like a small festival, where visitors and locals will get a flavour of the city’s delicious and diverse food offerings, and its cultural scene, all under one roof.”
Sessions Market is a new ethically driven business, and Shelter Hall Raw is its first and currently sole venue with a focus on building a community inspired space. Sessions Market has committed to supporting local sustainability initiatives, each vendor is Sussex-based and all are being encouraged to source ingredients from producers in the area.
The new Shelter Hall Raw team has also worked closely with non-profit Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to streamline the hall’s food waste and offer sustainable packaging. Additional signage, bins and recycling facilities will be added to the beach to ensure it’s kept clean and staff will monitor outdoor areas to ensure that waste is disposed of responsibly. The Hall is also serving as a case study for Circular Brighton & Hove (CBH) – a network supporting the transition to a circular economy in the greater Brighton region.
As well as creating opportunities for independent local businesses and providing a vibrant place for residents to meet, the hall will generate 70 new jobs and benefit the local economy.
Commenting on the launch, Brighton and Hove City Council leader Nancy Platts said: “I am really excited by the imminent opening of the Shelter Hall – another wonderful addition to our world famous seafront. This Food Hall project 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.
“I also welcome the commitment from Sessions to prioritise the safety of staff and customers by encouraging physical distancing and incorporating a range of measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. As the lockdown restrictions ease, residents and visitors can look forward to enjoying the very best of Brighton & Hove’s diverse food offering, knowing that they are staying safe while helping to support the local economy. I can’t wait to visit and look forward to seeing you there!”
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion added: “It’s good to finally see this project nearing completion and that the new look Shelter Hall will soon be opening its doors. I’m looking forward to seeing the project showcase our city’s brilliant and vibrant independent food and drink sector, bringing much loved businesses from across the city to Brighton beach.
“Like much of the seafront, years of under-investment had taken its toll and Shelter Hall had fallen into disrepair. I hope this new Food Hall will show what can be done when coastal towns are supported through proper funding. Protecting our seafront heritage is an issue of city-wide importance and I’m proud of the role Green Councillors played in securing the £9 million of Government investment for this project.”
Labour MP, Peter Kyle, said: “The hospitality sector is in crisis, so I’m proud and filled with hope to see this innovative solution on Brighton seafront. Rather than slump in disappointment at an enforced delay to fully opening, owners have shown the best of British by creating this food hall for the Covid-19 era. I want the public to love it and I want other small business owners to be inspired by it, and I’m sure they will be.”
Shelter Hall Raw comes to Brighton’s The Shelter Hall, next to Old ship Beach, on Sat 4 July 2020