How Victoria Street evolved from retail thoroughfare to London’s buzziest social hub

Charlotte Roberts

Victoria Street has experienced a metamorphosis in recent years. Take a wander down there today and you’ll discover a bustling hub of restaurants and bars, packed in among some of the capitals most in-demand ‘competitive socialising’ venues.  Recent crowd -drawing openings include Lane 7 and The Alchemist, joining the likes of Stix and Sushi, Timmy Green and Casa da Frango.Victoria Street’s position as one of the capital’s major social hubs will be cemented with this week’s first UK opening of the luxurious Parisian entertainment group BAM Karaoke Box. Housed in an incredible 10,000 square foot site with 22 private karaoke rooms, food from renowned chef Sabrina Gilda (ex Dorchester) and the uber-cool Bam Bam Bar, BAM is set to raise the bar not just for entertainment, but the whole hospitality and leisure scene in Victoria.

So how has Victoria Street transformed into a target for the world’s most innovative hospitality and leisure operators in the space of a few years?

The first major driver of change has come from an evolving office space landscape. According to the latest London Markets report, serviced offices account for 169,340 square foot in Victoria. But the occupancy of these offices has developed – once almost exclusively the home of civil servants, the area now hosts professional service companies and brands ranging from Bloomberg to Burberry. These businesses and their well paid staff represent a lot of valuable footfall – a fact not missed by hospitality and leisure brands.

Another key development for Victoria over the past 5 years has been transport. The £700 million Victoria Station Upgrade has improved links and ease navigating the area, with 45 million taps annually (April 2022-Mar 2023). With three tube lines, lots of bus routes and a revamped busy national station hosting the Gatwick Express, SW1 can now legitimately claim to be one of the best connected areas of London.

The shift in shopping patterns seen across London has also played a key role in the area’s changing dynamic. The demise of House of Fraser and closure of major fashion retailers in Victoria such as Hugo Boss are representative of the changing landscape for London’s retail picture – and highlight the potential opportunity for F&B and leisure.

We have managed Victoria Street for our client Landsec over the past decade. The launch of Nova  – the mixed use, three building development occupying the island site opposite Victoria station – in 2017 kick started the area’s F&B transformation, with The Rail House Café, Sticks n Sushi and Greenwood among the first lettings to draw the crowds.  A further vote of confidence came in the shape of The Ivy, which took over the former Jamie’s Italian site further down Victoria Street. High confidence in the wider area is also evident from Grosvenor’s reimagining of Belgravia and Buckingham Palace Road, and more recent investment from GAW Capital. But from a leisure perspective, it was the arrival and subsequent huge success of Flight Club in 2019 that provided the major endorsement to leisure brands looking for a central London location.

So where has this evolution left SW1?  Today, Victoria Street and the entire Nova development is fully let to a variety of premium leisure and hospitality operators. Lane 7 have opened with great success in the site adjacent to BAM, creating a footfall-driving entertainment hub. This – along with upcoming hospitality opportunities from the Portland House and Nova 2 redevelopment – make it clear that Victoria has a secure future as one of London’s top leisure and F&B destinations.

Charlotte Roberts is Head of London Retail at Bruce Gillingham Pollard.

Latest addition to James Street…

Tracey Pollard

We are delighted to have acted for Columbia Threadneedle in the letting to BAO Mary, the latest addition to James Street, the food hub at St Christopher’s Place. Located between Hoppers and Patty and Bun, the amazing team at BAO have created their 6th site, a dumpling heaven in the…

Bruce Gillingham Pollard Appoints Leisure Director

Tracey Pollard

Harry Cody Owen’s promotion to Director has been published by By Paul Norman of CoStar 3 April 2023: UK retail, hospitality and leisure consultancy Bruce Gillingham Pollard has appointed Harry Cody-Owen as a director in its national leisure team. Cody-Owen is a senior national leisure adviser with a focus on…


Harry Cody-Owen

Tap and Tandoor will be arriving at Westquay, Southampton this month! It will be Westquay’s first Indian offering and specialises in craft beer, cocktails and home-style curries.  You’ll be able to enjoy a casual dining experience with a wide range of quality beers in a relaxed, family friendly environment. The…


Alex Todd

Burger and Sauce has opened in the newly refurbished Food Terrace at Derbion Shopping Centre, Derby.

The brand prides itself on offering great value to its customers, without any compromises to the quality of food products on offer. Burger and Sauce was named the winner of Uber Eats Restaurant of the Year 2022 for the Midlands.

This is the 9th Burger and Sauce store to open in the UK and is a fantastic addition to the Food Terrace at Derbion.  Victoria Broadhead secured the letting.

For all Derbion F&B enquiries, please contact Victoria Broadhead or Alex Todd.


Tracey Pollard

2022 achievements – National Team

Victoria Broadhead

2022 has been a busy year, securing new retail and F&B brands for sites across the country. We thought we would highlight just a small selection of our favourites.

Crown appoints BGP on Regent Street and St James’s leisure

Rupert Bentley-Smith

The Crown Estate has appointed Bruce Gillingham Pollard and Cushman & Wakefield to advise on leisure leasing across its Regent Street and St James’s portfolios in London. BGP Director, Rupert Bentley-Smith, comments: “The Regent Street and St James’s portfolios present opportunities for a tremendous variety of hospitality and leisure offers…

F1 Arcade Confirms Birmingham for its Second Venue

Victoria Broadhead

F1 Arcade, the first Formula 1 licensed premium experiential venue of its kind, is to occupy an 11,000 sq ft unit at Paradise Birmingham, the £1.2bn business, leisure, and residential development in Birmingham. The move marks only the second UK venue for the brand after its first venue in London…

Bruce Gillingham Pollard appoints new Equity Director as Head of Investment

Tracey Pollard

BGP is active across Retail Capital Markets and most recently advised The Ardent Companies UK on its acquisition of the retail element in the landmark Royal Exchange building in the City of London.

Commenting on the appointment, BGP’s Managing Director, Tracey Pollard said: “Jack joined us a graduate in 2012 and it’s been a pleasure to watch his career progress. He has a brilliant work ethic and a strong track record of unlocking complex and lucrative transactions. His varied client base has broadened our Investment instructions, and he is now leading a well-known, well-connected, respected and talented team who are capitalising on current market conditions”.

Other notable London transactions have seen the team advise on the £70m purchase of One Tower Bridge for Redevco, the purchase of Brixton Market on behalf of Hondo Enterprises and Angelo Gordon for £40m, and the £34m acquisition of the Lever Building in London for Merseyside Pension Fund.

Jack Barratt said: “I’m relishing the prospect of leading the team at this time and working towards our next stage of growth.

“The current market provides significant transactional opportunity, and our market leading leasing team help underpin any occupational advice for active asset management and taking advantage of any short to longer term strategies.”

New Starter

Victoria Broadhead

We welcome Rob Barnes who joins BGP as a Graduate Surveyor following the completion of his Real Estate masters degree. He will then go on to sit the APC to become a Chartered Surveyor. Head of the National Leasing team Victoria Broadhead commented: “we are delighted to add Rob to…

Palm House

Thea Rowe

Our friends Incipio have launched their newest concept Palm House in Nova. The Cuban and Miami inspired clubhouse sits across two floors complete with a dedicated daiquiri bar. With the cold creeping in, who doesn’t want to be temporarily transported to warmer climates?! Bruce Gillingham Pollard acted for our clients landsec and Etch  acted on…

Vinoteca opens first outlet outside of London

Victoria Broadhead

Vinoteca has taken a 3,390 sq ft unit in MEPC’s Paradise mixed-use development in Birmingham. The restaurant at Two Chamberlain Square is Vinoteca’s seventh outlet. Vinoteca co-founder Charlie Young said: “Birmingham has always been quick to embrace new food and drink concepts, and we felt this was the perfect setting…

New Associate for Bruce Gillingham Pollard National Leasing Team

Tracey Pollard

Bruce Gillingham Pollard has appointed Lucy Gardiner as an Associate in its National Leasing Team.

Lucy has 10 years of experience across the F&B market and a wide range of knowledge across the UK and excellent relationships with key landlords and brands. These relationships will be vital in her new role working on our LandSec instruction which covers the whole of its UK hospitality portfolio.

Lucy commented: “BGP is a progressive and expanding business. I’m very much looking forward to working with the team and particularly on the Landsec portfolio which has such reach, variety and quality”.

Bruce Gillingham Pollard appoints new Director of London Neighbourhoods Team

Tracey Pollard

BGP has appointed Emily Dumbell as a Director. She has been with the firm since 2012 and, following her recent return from maternity leave, will lead the business’s new London Neighbourhoods team. BGP Managing Director, Tracey Pollard, said: “London neighbourhoods are proving increasingly vibrant as people explore different ways of…

MARK appoints Bruce Gillingham Pollard on Borough Yards project

Tracey Pollard

European private equity real estate investment manager, MARK, has appointed Bruce Gillingham Pollard to advise on retail leasing alongside CBRE at the Borough Yards development in London SE1. The 140,000 sq.ft mixed use scheme, adjacent to the historic Borough Market, is south London’s newest food, retail, leisure and office landmark.…

Journey to Net Zero ♻️

Thea Rowe

BGP are committed to achieving net zero and setting a suitable path to science based targets to help the business achieve this. We are delighted to be part of Grosvenor Net Zero Mentoring Programme alongside green consultancy The Heart of The City. This will enable our business to calculate baseline, set an…

Edward Bulmer Natural Paint to Pimlico Road Design District

Lucy Cope

We are pleased to have worked alongside our client, Grosvenor to bring Edward Bulmer Natural Paint to Pimlico Road Design District.

The design world’s ‘go to’ eco friendly paint brand, pioneering plant based paints made from raw materials reducing the effects on buildings, health, nature and the planet! Their sustainability credentials and brand ethos seamlessly compliment that of existing retailers on the estate that Grosvenor have chosen to partner with, curating a unique and internationally renowned tenant mix.

Edward Bulmer will sit alongside a number of existing brands on the estate including Pinch, Chelsea Textiles, Fermoie, Cox and many more homeware, interior and fabric brands.

The addition of Edward Bulmer Paints paves the way for forthcoming opening of Newson’s Yard which we are super excited about! Newson’s Yard will bring an eclectic mix of new interior brands who will open later this year within the development…

This is an extremely exciting time for the Estate and Pimlico Road Design District and one which we are hugely proud to be part of.

Charlotte Roberts acted on behalf of Grosvenor in securing this letting and Tom Pain acted on behalf of the tenant.

BXR City

Charlotte Roberts

A launch date of all launch dates; on Tuesday 22nd February, BXR launched at 22 Bishopsgate. This really was, and is such a totally unique project to be involved in – a first for London and the UK market delivering the highest gym in Europe in the tallest building in…

Barry’s Bootcamp

Charlotte Roberts

This week our wonderful client BARRY’S BOOTCAMP LTD announced the launch of their Liverpool opening in the summer of this year. Liverpool standby for the best workout in the world from the market leaders… For more information, please contact Charlotte Roberts or Victoria Broadhead

Piccadilly Lights

Charlotte Roberts

This week we launched the marketing of the retail and F&B at Piccadilly Lights. An iconic London building with flagship retail, a rooftop and other restaurant / bar opportunities wrapping around the globally recognised digital advertising space.

For further information, please contact Woody Bruce, Charlotte Roberts or Lucy Cope.

5 Days to go

Lucy Cope

This time last year we were thrilled to welcome international renowned London florist McQueens, a global name in luxury floral design to North Audley Street only a stones throw away from Oxford street. Their flagship store situated in the heart of the West End is the UK’s largest floral emporium. The…

6 Days to go

Thea Rowe

The next generation of family clubs Jaego’s House will open in Kensal Rise in May 2022, quite literally something for all the family under one roof. Members will have access to a whole range of services: a jungle gym and soft play; crèche and childminding; Co working office; studio and fitness…

7 Days to go

Tracey Pollard

The growth of the neighbourhoods and localism have been key themes for the last 12 months.  We have experienced an increase in demand for both London neighbourhood locations and nationally, where we’ve seen lots of activity with lettings in Guildford, Windsor, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Reading and Leeds. The increase in…

8 Days to go

Dominic Tixerant

Hawskmoor made a splash with their new opening in Wood Wharf this month!

The new, eco friendly floating restaurant has brought a whole new dynamic to the Canary Wharf estate.

The restaurant is Hawksmoor’s most ambitious restaurant yet, split across three floors with a 150 cover restaurant and 120 bar ‘The Low Back’.

Rupert Bentley-Smith acted on behalf of our client Canary Wharf Group and Charlie Catterall, of Etch acted on behalf of Hawksmoor.

One of the first of its kind, this eco friendly restaurant is part of a trend that’s about to take on a whole new level.

For all Canary Wharf and Wood Wharf please speak to Rupert Bentley-Smith and Dominic Tixerant.

13 Days to go

Thea Rowe

22 Bishopsgate is newest addition to the London Skyline and an incredibly memorable project to be working on. 2021 has seen the opening of this ‘vertical village’ where the office occupants will have access to everything under one roof. From grab & go food to a restaurant, gym to a wellness…

Countdown to Christmas

Tracey Pollard

What a year 2021 has been! Despite the lows of restrictions and lockdowns, there have been some highs and here at Bruce Gillingham Pollard we have been exceptionally busy. SO, we thought it only right to celebrate some of those highs. Over the next 12 days we’ll be sharing with…

18th Century pub brought back to life by JKS

Rupert Bentley-Smith

We are Delighted to see JKS Restaurants reopen The George Fitzrovia last Thursday. This exciting venture is in partnership with renowned publican Dominic Jacobs and celebrated chef James Knappett. Along with JKS they form a remarkable team who have restored this beautiful 3 storey, 18th century, grade II-listed building, and…

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