The London street food favourite behind Seven Dials Market, KERB, is expanding via a venue in Berlin’s famous Potsdamer Platz.
German foodies will be able to indulge their palates across a two-story street food market which is set to open in the Sony Centre by next year.
The market will showcase 12 independent food vendors and four bars that represent “the very best of Berlin’s world class food and drink scene”.
Ian Dodds, a director at KERB, told City A.M. that they chose Berlin to be the next home of KERB because the city is “developing rapidly as an exciting place for people to work, go out and eat”.
The IMAX cinema at the Sony Centre in Potsdamer Platz will be transformed into a food and drink hall “befitting the cultural diversity and culinary deliciousness of the city” and will pay homage to the building’s cinematic history.
The project, costing upwards of £5.3m (€6m), will have the capacity to serve roughly 800 diners and is intended to be a permanent feature of the city during a period of intense growth. KERB’s new venue is part of an ongoing £176m (€200m) development plan to regenerate the multiplex site.
Scouting for a team of “fiercely independent” vendors to fill the 220sqm site is already underway, says Dodds, and they are looking to give opportunities to operators who are just starting out. KERB is encouraging local businesses to get in touch.
“Our vision is to connect with the great food stars of tomorrow and to make the food hall truly reflective of the independent and diverse Berlin”, Dodds adds.
The passionate director believes their approach sets them apart from most food hall operators who increasingly look for small restaurant chains and established businesses to do spin off concepts.
“For us it’s really all about the food and the person being reflective of our values which are about supporting people into greater opportunities to thrive and make great food.”
KERB is focusing on keeping things local, with plans to offer 200 jobs to Berliners, and make use of local produce and sellers.
This will also help push forward its sustainability goals, with a focus on reuse and having a low carbon footprint.
No Brexit woes for KERB in Berlin
Last October, the boss of Seven Dials Market told City A.M. that the impact of Brexit on the UK hospitality industry was severe understaffing for “every shift, every day”.
Brexit’s negative effect on the staffing and labour supply issues across food and beverage businesses in London have not been an issue at all for Dodds’ team in Berlin, who have found that “going back into the centre of Europe is quite exciting”.
Berlin is an “open city supportive of immigration and has wider Europe at its doorstep”, remarks an upbeat Dodds.
The Seven Dials Market serves 25,000 customers every week and employs 300 Londoners.
“We are looking forward to becoming a major part of the fabric of the city,” say KERB, “supporting the wider neighbourhood development in bringing world class arts, culture and hospitality back to Potsdamer Platz.”
Berlin’s Sony Centre at Potsdamer Platz has just celebrated its 20 birthday and is co-owned by Oxford Properties Group and Norges Bank Investment Management.