New Waitrose opens at King’s Cross

Posted: Thursday 24th September 2015

As another apartment building completes and its residents move in, King’s Cross today sees the opening of a brand new Waitrose store, tapas bar and cookery school.

The store, located next to Granary Square with its jumping fountains, is housed in the restored Grade II-listed Midland Goods Shed, and comprises a 29,000sq ft (GIA) supermarket, featuring an in-store bakery, and a range of seating areas for customers to relax and enjoy drinks and snacks from the store’s wine or juice bar, alongside a 2,400 sq ft cookery school.

The shop and cookery school has seen the creation and recruitment of over 200 new full- and part-time jobs for the area, all becoming Partners in the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest and oldest example of employee ownership.

Waitrose is the second retail space to open at King’s Cross, after the boutique wine shop in Vinoteca, and the largest letting to a single retailer. Waitrose’s opening marks the next step in King’s Cross’ retail journey: from the established restaurants and bars such as Caravan, Dishoom and Vinoteca to the emerging experiential retail stores opening next year on the Boulevard and, in 2018, in Coal Drops Yard.

The change in use of the Midland Goods Shed and East and West Handyside Canopies has been led by architects Bennetts Associates, with B+R Architects leading the interior fit out. The designs have allowed the Victorian architecture to be sensitively refurbished and restored, breathing new life into the former railway passenger terminal and goods depot.

Waitrose has worked closely with the team to preserve the character of the spaces, their original brickwork, thundering cast iron structures, cavernous spaces and delicate roof trusses. Large-format picture windows punctuate the dividing wall, allowing the activity and theatre of the Cookery School to be visible from the store. A bespoke mix of geometric tiles in a contemporary pastel palette wrap from the Bakery to Cookery School, unifying these spaces.

Built in 1850, the Midland Goods Shed started life as a temporary passenger terminal, used while today’s King’s Cross station was being built. Queen Victoria departed from here on her way to Scotland in 1851. After the completion of King’s Cross station, the building was used for handling and storing goods that were brought into King’s Cross from across the country, including food. The East Handyside Canopy was added in 1888 to provide a covered space for the transfer of potatoes and other perishable goods from rail to horse and cart.

Speaking about the opening, David Walters, Project Manager for King’s Cross, said:

“The opening is great news for the thousands of people who already live and work at King’s Cross, and to those residents we look forward to welcoming over the next few years. With around 20,000 people now on-site, we are delighted the store and cookery school will provide a new amenity for the site, as well as a complementary education and leisure resource, adding to the Learning Quarter taking shape at King’s Cross.”

Speaking about the new supermarket and cookery school, Mark Price, Waitrose CEO, added:

“It has been a unique and exciting opportunity to create a store of this kind. This has been a new experience for us, and has allowed Waitrose’s distinctive brand values to be reflected by emphasising architectural quality as part of the retail experience. We’re delighted to be opening this store, and look forward to working in partnership with King’s Cross as the store grows.”

The store is open seven days a week; with cookery classes running through the week. For more information, or to book, visit:
http://bespoke.bookingbug.com/waitrose/kingscross.html#!/event_list

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