Call it Brixton’s hottest new foodie destination. Call it a container community with a conscience. Just don’t call POP Brixton the new Boxpark (the pop-up mall in east London that has proved popular with hipsters in their oh-so-skinny jeans and designer T-shirts).
Sure, POP Brixton on the site of the old temporary ice rink in Pope’s Road may be built from recycled shipping containers stacked on top of each other and painted in unmissable colours and designs but this venue is unique.
POP Brixton has been created by the local community for local residents and businesses. In fact, 85% of businesses that have established themselves at POP Brixton are from Lambeth, with the majority of the 20 retail outlets specialising in food and drink.
The venue itself was even designed by Brixton-based architect Carl Turner.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that since opening at the end of May, business has been brisk for both the street food-style traders and the smattering of vintage shops.
Whatever their taste, no visitor will leave POP Brixton with an empty stomach. The food and drink on offer along the open walkways includes Indian small plates and cocktails at Kricket, hot soup noodles at Koi Ramen bar, proper fish and chips at Hook Brixton, health juices and salads at Homegrown and wood-fired pizzas at Made of Dough.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, Mama Jerk, World of Wurst, the juicy beef ribs at Miss P’s Barbecue and Baba G’s Indian and British fusion food can also be enjoyed in the large market-style area.
But POP Brixton is not just a unique shopping destination full of hidden gems, such as women’s vintage and upcycled fashion specialist Make Do And Mend and wine expert The New Zealand Cellar.
What makes this pop-up venture unique is it aims to support local jobs, training and enterprise.
Office and workspace at POP Brixton is rented out to local start-up creative arts ventures and tech enterprises, while the Impact Hub Brixton is providing affordable co-working space for new businesses.
The entrepreneurs who have established a base at POP Brixton are encouraged to donate one hour a week to a time-bank for community giveback, which sees them share their skills with other tenants and the local community.
Other community initiatives range from POP Farm – a public garden and covered greenhouse area on the venue’s top floor that was planted by Brixton residents – to a buskers’ corner, exhibitions by local artists, workshops and a 200-capacity event space that hosts cinema screenings, theatre performances, talks and music events.
This all helps to make the atmosphere at POP Brixton friendly, relaxed and buzzing. And it is attracting visitors from all walks of life, not just middle-class hipsters pigging out on sourdough.
The venue, which is just a short walk from Brixton Tube station, is scheduled to remain open until at least October 2017. But we think it will become so popular that it will become a permanent feature of Brixton’s landscape.
Contact Eden Harper today if you want to become part of Brixton’s community. Alternatively, click here to see the range of properties that we have for sale and rent in the Battersea area.
Image credit: Robin Sones