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Mercato Mayfair puts a Church to Good Use

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Repurposing churches is not an entirely new phenomenon, there’s been a bookshop and café in the structure that was a church in the heart of the Dutch city of Maastricht for years. That said, the opening of Mercato Mayfair, in London, brings something different to the genre.

Like its sister Mercato Metropolitano, south of the Thames in Elephant & Castle, this is a casual dining food hall-meets-market, with most of the emphasis being on dining. Whether it’s German ‘craft’ lager, served from a stall on what would have been the altar, or an event and cookery class space in the basement, this three-floor, £5m makeover of a place of worship is, if nothing else, surprising.

Mercato Mayfair, of course starts with a huge advantage: this is a very good-looking interior that was waiting to be reused (the church itself was deconsecrated in 1973) and for those visiting the UK capital it brings another set of doors to the burgeoning food hall sector.