Caravan, the Antipodean coffee roaster and all-day restaurant chain, has confirmed it will open a fifth London venue this year — in the Fitzrovia building formerly home to the BBC Radio 1 recording studios on Great Portland Street.
Though the site has been in the works for some time (the alcohol license for the venue was awarded way back in June last year) there has been little detail as to when the new site was expected to open. This week, however, the company has announced the first of a series of events to be hosted at the new restaurant ahead of a now-confirmed opening in summer 2018.
Plans for the Fitzrovia restaurant submitted to the licensing authority show a site of c.100~150m² with proposed seating for roughly 100 to 120 covers, heralding a major new entrant to the neighbourhood’s day-time dining trade. Caravan is well known for knocking out hundreds of plates in a service — its massive Granary Square HQ is a sight to behold during a midsummer’s weekend brunch service. It’s safe to assume that this new Great Portland Street branch is likely to follow suit. Owing to the venue’s history, the new restaurant will also feature a “record room”, as well as a private dining room downstairs. The new restaurant is also planned to have a stronger focus on take-away trade, including food, while pushing ahead with Caravan’s commitment to sustainability through a company-wide ban on disposable straws, and discounts for reusable cup users.
The first chance to experience the new site will come on 24 February, when Caravan teams up with Bristol-based Yonder Collective to host a “Cultivating the Courageous” dinner celebrating creative entrepreneurship, and featuring a menu developed in conjunction with Karma Cans — the food delivery start-up. Guests will be treated to a speech by Know The Origin founder Charlotte Instone, and a cocktail and spirits masterclass by Max and Maire Chater of Victory London.
Caravan’s original site opened on Exmouth Market in 2010. Since then, the brand has grown its coffee roasting business, which recently relocated to Enfield and supplies cafes and restaurants across the city, as well as opening restaurants in King’s Cross, Bankside and the Bloomberg Arcade.