Banh Bao Brothers, Draughts, Aures London and Rat Bar @ 26 Leake Street will be the first hospitality operators to open at Leake Street Arches following a major redevelopment project.
Eight former railway arches next to Waterloo’s ‘graffiti tunnel’ have been restored to create a collection of independent bars, restaurants and entertainment spaces that celebrate urban culture.
The redevelopment of the 23,000 sq ft space beneath Waterloo station is being led by LCR. Phase one of the project will complete with the four operators set to open their doors at Leake Street on Saturday 16 June.
These include Vietnamese street food restaurant and bar Banh Bao Brothers, board game café Draughts, sensory immersive event venue Aures, and graffiti-themed speakeasy Rat Bar @ 26 Leake Street.
Phase two, which will mark the completion of the project, will see Mamuśka! Polish Kitchen and Bar, 26 Leake Street’s new (undisclosed) restaurant and an additional dining and bar concept open to the public at the end of the summer.
These Leake Street Arches businesses will join other tunnel residents, the Vaults and House of Vans.
The ‘graffiti tunnel’ was made famous in 2008 by street artist Banksy after he discovered the abandoned road tunnel and organised an event for graffiti artists from around the world to transform it into “an oasis of beautiful art”.
Investment into the sensitive restoration of the railway arches included the introduction of a new, state-of-the-art lighting system, designed in collaboration with graffiti artists to better showcase their work.
Adrian Lee, development director at LCR, a Department for Transport owned property and regeneration company, said: “Having consulted with the local community throughout the process, we are proud to have created a vibrant new destination with a range of excellent new independent bars and restaurants that pays homage to the area’s creative heritage.”
Duncan Brown, regeneration delivery lead for Waterloo & Streatham added: “Waterloo is currently undergoing significant transformation and Lambeth Council is thrilled to see the completion of the first stage of Leake Street Arches historic refurbishment.
“Engagement with the local community has provided an innovative approach to the heritage led regeneration within this valuable cultural location of Lambeth and by doing so has created an enhanced sense of destination for our residents and for Londoners as a whole.”