Historic London exhibition venue Olympia is to get its own state-of-the-art production kitchen as part of a major upgrade programme of works at the site.
Kent distributor KCCJ has been awarded the build contract and recently kicked off the project, which will take place throughout the summer. As well as the fit-out, KCCJ designed the kitchen and specified all the equipment.
Compass Group-owned Levy Restaurants recently bagged a £24m seven-year catering contract with Earls Court and Olympia, and it confirmed that investing in and equipping the new production kitchen was part of its commitment.
The production facility will replace an existing kitchen in Earls Court, which has been in use since 1938.
A spokesperson for Compass told Catering Insight that the facility is “being created as the main production kitchen for the hospitality services in the venue.”
Bob Russell, KCCJ’s foodservice consultant, said the production kitchen has had to be completely drawn from scratch as there was no legacy catering facility within Olympia.
“There is a large area on the second floor which has been used as storage space for a number of years,” he explained. “That has been let over for us to produce a completely new infrastructure and fit-out for the kitchen work.”
KCCJ commenced activities at the site a fortnight ago and Russell said work was “going on at a pace”.
He added: “We have already got most of the structural walls and the internal wall structure sorted out, including creating a fire-protected space for the kitchen itself. We have to complete by September.”
Together, Earls Court and Olympia host more than 300 events a year, which attract 2.5 million visitors.
As well as the production kitchen, Levy Restaurants will open two new purpose-built eateries in the Olympia Central exhibition space in September. The outlets were designed by 442 Design and are being fitted by Benchmark.