Absolutely Meets Co-founder of Street Feast Jonathan Downey

Absolutely Meets Co-founder of Street Feast Jonathan Downey

Meet the brains behind Street Feast – the brand transforming London’s derelict sites into pop-up foodie hubs

Words Joy Montgomery

Launched in 2012, Street Feast is the brand that has been transforming London’s derelict and disused spaces into foodie paradises filled with exciting new pop-ups and bars. From car parks and old markets to rooftops and office blocks, Street Feast has taken over locations across the capital including Canada Water, Dalston, Lewisham, Battersea and Bermondsey.

Returning for its fourth consecutive year, Model Market has put Lewisham on the map, transforming an abandoned 1950s market into a buzzing social hub. This year the line-up is better than ever, with new stands including Nanban, the Brixton-based restaurant set up by Masterchef winner Tim Anderson. To get the lowdown on this year’s offering we spoke to Street Feast co-founder Jonathan Downey about all things street food…

Why did you choose Lewisham as a Street Feast destination?

When we saw the space we immediately wanted to revive it and bring something unique and exciting to the area. Model Market has a very loyal local following and that’s why we love being there – it’s a space to bring the community together with fantastic food, drink and vibes.

What’s new for Model Market this year?

We’ve brought in two brand new traders, Japanese soul food from Tim Anderson’s Nanban and awesome tacos from Tacos del Rey, who launched on our opening weekend. Two Street Feast favourites from Hawker House have joined the Lewisham line-up this summer so we’ve also got Venezuelan arepas from Petare and buttermilk-soaked fried chicken from Mother Clucker. Plus, our rooftop bar is now a Tequila Treehouse and we’ve got a new Gin Salon for proper cocktails, including icy cold Direct Martinis, and we’ve completely refurbished Winyl, our market wine bar.

How do you select which food stands go in each year?

We want to keep things exciting and fresh with new food, but we also have lots of local traders who’ve been there from the start and are an important part of what we do. For example, Adrian from Mama’s Jerk grew up in Lewisham and used to eat at the market 20 years ago – so for those guys being a part of the history means a lot.

Which pop-up are you most excited about?

I think Nanban will be brilliant as Tim’s menu is unlike anything we’ve had at Model Market – the Scotch bonnet ponzu butter glazed deep-fried chicken wings are magnificent. We’ll be encouraging all our traders to keep their menus fresh s o there will be loads of delicious new things to try this summer.

Lewisham Model Market
196 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LS
Doors open every Friday and Saturday from 5pm till 1am.

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