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Developer shrugs off credit crunch impact on Canary Wharf restaurants

04 November 2008 by

Restaurants in Canary Wharf will be able to succeed despite the banking crisis, a local developer has insisted.

The comments came after British restaurant group Canteen announced it is to launch its fourth site in London's financial district next year.

The group, which currently operates three London outlets in Spitalfields, at the Royal Festival Hall and on Baker Street, has signed on a 3,338 sq ft restaurant in the Canada Square Pavilion, which will open in autumn 2009.

The new restaurant will include booth seating, a bar area and covered outside terrace overlooking Canada Park Square.

Camille Waxer, vice president of retail at Canary Wharf Group, the company building and letting Canada Square Pavilion, told Caterer she was positive about the prospects of the development despite the threat to jobs in the financial services sector.

Thousands of jobs have already been lost due to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and other banks are also shedding staff.

"We're not at all concerned," she said. "There are 90,000 people working in Canary Wharf and with 200 shops many people who don't work in the area come to shop.

"Of course, we can't compete with Westfield, which is much bigger, but we are focusing our offering on our core customers: office workers and loyal clients."

Canteen co-founder Patrick Clayton-Malone said there was a gap in the market at Canary Wharf for a Canteen restaurant. "We have been in discussions over this site for more than a year and consider this a great opportunity and a corner stone for our business," he said.

Canada Square Pavilion will feature four restaurants including Canteen and Rainer Becker's Japanese restaurant concept Roka.

Michelin-starred chef restaurateur Tom Aikens pulled out of plans to launch a second Tom's Kitchen in the development after his restaurant business collapsed into administration last month. For more on the financial crisis see our credit crunch page.

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By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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