The elevated space on top of the roundabout can take up to 500 people and has been decked out with a soundsystem and a DJ booth. In the afternoon, the coffee stall turns into a bar serving beer, wine and cocktails developed in collaboration with Hoxton bar White Lyan. The idea came from Tom Reaney, the man behind Burger Bear.
“We launched our street food pop-up back in 2012 in Old Street and after a successful year our customers convinced us to try Kickstarter to attempt a more permanent diner,” he said. “The roundabout site came up after a very long year hunting for a location for our Kickstarter home.”
Reaney has been given a three- year lease by Transport for London (TFL) and has a license for that time, making the pop-up street food venue a more permanent feature in the area. The shops will be open seven days a week.
But Reaney’s success was not handed to him on a silver platter.
“This has been just over a year in the making. And it's been the toughest year of my life! But it will be totally worth it,” he said. Encouraged by BurgerBear’s clientele, Reaney started looking into Kickstarter as a way to finance his idea.
“It’s one of the best ways to not involve big loans or banks. This comes with its pros and cons. I'd certainly recommend Kickstarter but, be warned, do your research,” he said.
But Reaney’s food shops aren’t the only ones near the roundabout. Shoreditch Grind is a coffee shop annex cocktail-bar-at-night situated on the corner of Old Street and City Road. Their concept is very similar to what coffee stall Relax is planning to do on top of the roundabout. Shoreditch Grind did not want to comment on the implications this might have on their business.