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Michelin star restaurateurs set their sights on West Hampstead as the ‘next Marylebone High Street’

15:00 23 January 2014

(From left) Head chef of new West Hampstead restaurant 160 Degrees Fahrenheit Andrei Lesment, joined by top restaurateurs Sean Martin and David Moore. Picture: Allan Budarin

(From left) Head chef of new West Hampstead restaurant 160 Degrees Fahrenheit Andrei Lesment, joined by top restaurateurs Sean Martin and David Moore. Picture: Allan Budarin

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Major players in London’s food and drink market are said to be setting their sights on West Hampstead becoming the capital’s “new Marylebone High Street”.

High-end restaurant operators and business owners are being lured by an increasingly affluent and young population, and believe that the area could be home to London’s next trendy and vibrant high street.

This is all according to David Moore, one of the UK’s best-known restaurateurs and the man behind Michelin star restaurants Pied à Terre in Fitzrovia and L’Autre Pied in Marylebone.

Joining forces with Sean Martin, another of London’s high-end restaurant operators, he is set to open a new venture in West End Lane, West Hampstead.

Taking over the building occupied by Me Love Sushi, Mr Moore says his latest venture, called 160 Degrees Fahrenheit, an American smokehouse style restaurant, will bring the “sexiness of Soho to West Hampstead”.

“We looked all over London but West Hampstead felt right,” he said. “It’s an increasingly affluent area with a young demographic – and I can tell you many operators are keeping a very keen eye on it.

“It reminds be of what Marylebone High Street used to be around 20 years ago.

“The arrival of Waitrose is a big indicator – when one opened in Marylebone High Street, that’s when it started to change things around, and now one is set to open in West End Lane. I see the same thing happening.”

With 15 beers on tap and a menu offering 60 bottled craft beers, the new business hopes to allow West Hampstead food lovers to “feel like they’re in the West End without having to leave West Hampstead”.

Acclaimed chef Andrei Lesment has been brought on board, the man behind Verru in Marylebone Lane and a favourite of Times critic and former West Hampstead resident Giles Coren.

Jonathan Turton, committee member for the newly relaunched West Hampstead Business Association, said the move demonstrated the area was no longer “up and coming” but had arrived.

“It’s a refreshing move,” he said. “I’d rather we’d be known as the first West End Lane than the next Marylebone High Street, but I think the fact that it’s not yet another hairdresser or pizza place means it could be welcomed by residents.

“People here value independent businesses, so the fact that’s it’s not a chain is a bonus.

“All signs point to West Hampstead becoming an increasingly affluent area and although this venture feels like a gamble, if it’s successful it really could be the spark for more high-end businesses arriving.”

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