Restaurant business Benugo is to fund a £1.2m transformation of the ground-floor foyer of the London Coliseum theatre, as part of plans to open a new wine bar and café there.
The English National Opera (ENO) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) today announced that architects Robin Snell and Partners would redesign the space.
Designed by theatre architect Frank Matcham, the London Coliseum first opened its doors in 1904 and the new design will focus on the architectural qualities of the Grade II listed building and reclaim the Edwardian elegance of its front of house spaces.
The first phase of work will concentrate on opening up the ground floor foyer to provide uninterrupted views from the street.
Benugo is expected offer budget-friendly food from breakfast until late, with some catering themed to the shows, and a 65-seat basement restaurant offering a three-course set menu dinner.
Cressida Pollock, CEO of English National Opera, said: "This is an exciting time for the London Coliseum. Artistic director John Berry last year outlined his vision to open up the Coliseum and I'm delighted we've taken this project forward alongside our catering partner, Benugo. We look forward to throwing open the doors of the theatre and welcoming the public into the beautiful surroundings of this iconic building. For years, audience members have enjoyed Matcham's masterpiece, now it's time to share its splendour with many more people."
Turlough McNamara, Benugo managing director said: "We're proud to be part of the building's future and are absolutely delighted to be involved in this project. The London Coliseum is an iconic building and is worthy of this transformation. Creating a restaurant and wine bar that is in keeping with the space is our top priority and we're confident that we can do that with this exceptional team."
The London Coliseum, built in 1904, was extensively restored in 2000-2004 and this is the second stage of the restoration project that aims to bolster the future of this iconic building. Benugo has a number of high street stores and concessions within some of the world's largest museums, public spaces and historic buildings including V&A, Natural History Museum, Ashmolean and Edinburgh Castle. It has been operating at ENO since September 2014.