Historic gym earmarked for lavish restaurant refurbishment

Britain’s first ever purpose-built sports gym is to be transformed into a glamorous restaurant and bar complex, it has been revealed.

The 148-year-old German Gymnasium building, located next to King’s Cross station in London, will be turned into a seven-day-a-week restaurant hub.

The large ground floor area will become a 150-seat brasserie and bar with outdoor terrace, while upstairs will be smaller restaurant and private dining room.

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Des Gunewardena, chief executive of restaurant operator D&D London, told the Evening Standard that millions of pounds in the “high single figures” would be spent converting the grade II listed brick structure.

The exact formats of the restaurants have yet to be determined, but it is understood that a target opening date of spring 2015 has been set.

“This is a remarkable building and part of what is a remarkable development,” said Gunewardena. “Our aim is to create restaurants and bars that make the most of what is a stunning interior with its 57-foot floor-to-ceiling height. The venues will be high quality but have a broad appeal. Our plan is to have restaurants open all day, seven days a week.”

The 10,000 sq ft building was built in 1865 to a design by Stoke Newington born Edward Gruning. It was funded by London’s German community, then the biggest group of foreign residents in the capital.

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