Time Out, a digital and magazine publisher, has announced that they are to open a market in London in 2017. The market will be in East London across Commercial Street from the Old Spitalfields Market. Plans announced to date will see the market include 17 restaurants, a cooking academy, four bars, a shop and an art gallery with the promise that everything sold will be 'tested and tasted by people who spend all day tracking down the best and newest that London has to offer'. The aspiration is to give 'new food and cultural talents a platform to be seen by Londoners'.
London's Time Out market will not be the first the publisher establishes. They opened in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2014 and offer a curated experience of Portugal. The claim is that "Time Out Market is the first market in the world where everything has been chosen, tasted and tested (with four or five stars, and not one star less) by an independent panel of city experts: Time Out’s own journalists and critics.". With some 40 outlets now open, it is said to have already reached 2 million annual visitors.
Time Out's dining and cultural market will not be London's first such experience. Mercato Metropolitano officially opened in September 2016 and offers some 4200 square metres of food halls, dining, and bars close to the rapidly being regenerated Elephant and Castle and not far south of The Borough. Mercato Metropolitano is located just off Newington Causeway and occupies a former paper factory. One of the people behind it, Andrea Rasca, has previously opened similar initiatives in Milan and Turin and the market is very much focused on small producers and aimed at sustainable engagement with the community. AS a part of this, it trades from 11.00am until 11.00pm Tuesday-Saturday and 10.00am-9.00pm on Sundays. Culture currently comes in the form of a cinema and boxing gym as well as regular events and entertainment.