This week, thanks to someone pointing me in the direction of this brochure, we got to find out some of the answers.
Noodle purveyors Wagamama, pizza & pasta restaurant Rossopomodoro, Danish furniture retailer BoConcept, and Tiger Stores - which sort of defies classification (see below) - are all moving in.
They will join hamburger joint Byron, which already has signs up, and Paperchase and Oliver Bonas, which have already opened. Of the others, only BoConcept is being trailered on the shopping centre's website.
According to Nash Bond, which is letting the units on behalf of the centre's owner Land Securities, there are two units still available. One large unit on the first floor (£190,000 annual rent) and one smaller one on the ground floor (£75,000 annual rent) tucked round the corner by the road to and from the car park.
|£75,000 a year for this unit|
The existing operations you know and (at least in the case of Camden councillor Tulip Siddiq and Nando's) clearly love are all staying put although Sparkle Bar & Lounge will be no more - it was always a pop-up.
Yo! Sushi has already moved out of its unit to take up space between the escalators and the lift. Its existing restaurant spot will be occupied by Wagamama. Rossopomodoro will take the place of Sparkle (formerly Zuccato) and Byron is taking the designated burger spot of the Fine Burger Co.
The three anchor tenants are Sainsbury, Virgin Active, and Vue cinemas. It would be interesting to know how Habitat feels about BoConcept's arrival, although furniture shops do tend to cluster together. One also wonders about Zizzi and Rossopomodoro sitting so close together, and lets not forget there's a small Pizza Express just down the road too.
Is this a good thing for us? I would argue yes. I don't think any of these operations are putting any plucky independents at risk. The O2 has always had chain tenants as you'd expect, and they compete with each other more than with anything further afield (and even less with businesses in the heart of West Hampstead). The attempt at an infographic that's meant to lure retailers in talks about Swiss Cottage but makes no mention of West Hampstead, which is a bit surprising given that the centre clearly pulls people in from the West End Lane area.
|Click for full-size|
Whether some of the other noodle options on Finchley Road, especially Oriental Star, might find Wagamama too hot to handle remains to be seen. Credit should also go to Land Securities for trying to make innovative use of the empty space as and when it came up, with various pop-up ideas, especially in what used to be Zuccato.
Here's where everyone's going to end up
Which brings us back to Tiger.