The UK’s ‘biggest kebab shop’ has opened on London’s Oxford Street with three stories and an arcade, and ravenous shoppers are delighted.
The popular kebab chain Kebhouze is trying to expand to the UK, and they have started with their biggest shop yet in London.
Kebhouze’s flagship three-storey restaurant can seat 100 people and even has an arcade on the top floor, as well as table football and street art.
Described as an ‘immersive experience,’ Kebhouze also features a seven-metre installation by British artist Philip Colbert, AKA The Lobster, on the second floor.
The food outlet on the corner of Poland Street, which opened on Thursday, has taken up a unit previously occupied by a vape and souvenir shop, which closed down earlier this year.
The popular kebab chain Kebhouze is trying to expand to the UK, and they have started with their biggest shop yet in London
A meal at Kebhouze. The chain has many restaurants in Italy and Spain but are yet to make it over here in England, a fact that Chief Marketing Officer Giulio Paterno wants to change
The Italian chain offers wraps and kebab bowls, with four types of meat (chicken, veal, turkey and beef), as well as a pea protein-based vegan alternatives called ‘planted’.
Founded in Milan in December 2021, just two years later it runs 24 sites across Italy and Spain including in Rome, Bergamo, Venice and Ibiza.
The owner is Gianluca Vacchi, a multi-millionaire businessman and social media star with more than 20million followers on Instagram.
Kebhouze’s general manager Oliver Zon said there are plans to open more stores in the UK.
He said: ‘When it comes to the UK, you either go big or go home.
‘We of course decided to do one better than that and go for the biggest, opening the nation’s largest ever kebab house.
‘Unlike the kebabs most Brits are accustomed to, we offer premium ingredients at a low cost, and prioritise variety, so whether you fancy a wrap, bowl or burger, Kebhouze is here to satisfy your cravings.
A customer being served at Kebhouze. Chief Marketing Officer Giulio Paterno said: ‘This is planned to be the first of a number of restaurants in the UK. We are planning to expand across London and have something in motion for Camden Town in 2024
The service counter at Kebhouze on London’s Oxford Street. Kebhouze’s flagship three-storey restaurant can seat 100 people and even has an arcade on the top floor, as well as table football and street art
The menu at Kebhouze on London’s Oxford Street. The food outlet, which opened on Thursday, has taken up a unit previously occupied by a vape and souvenir shop, which closed down earlier this year
A burger and chips at the Kebhouze kebab shop in London
Food at the Kebhouze kebab shop in London
‘Our three floor store on Oxford Street is one of a kind; an immersive kebab house packed with entertainment for all ages.
‘Our mission is to ensure Londoners can enjoy kebab in an entertaining and fun setting – all while keeping costs low and quality high.’
The chain has many restaurants in Italy and Spain but are yet to make it over here in England, a fact that Chief Marketing Officer Giulio Paterno wants to change.
The 31-year-old is originally from Rome and has travelled to London a month ago with hopes of expanding the brand to a more global audience.
He said: ‘This is planned to be the first of a number of restaurants in the UK. We are planning to expand across London and have something in motion for Camden Town in 2024.
‘We are looking at a lot of different hotspots in and around London. We are trying to make brand awareness bigger because we are new in town.
‘We started here because there is not much food in Oxford Street. There are a lot of clothes and shops but it is lacking in food and that is a void we hope to fill.’
The interior of Kebhouze on London’s Oxford Street
The interior or the Kebhouze restaurant in London
An ordering booth at Kebhouze on London’s Oxford Street
Entertainment machines at Kebhouze in London
Customers make their orders at Kebhouze in London
The menu at Kebhouze on London’s Oxford Street
The shop itself does not look like a standard British kebab shop with bright colours, machines to deliver the food and three floors including an arcade.
Giulio believes this, along with the range of menu options, is what makes them so unique.
He said: ‘Most kebab shops don’t look the nicest, but we are colourful and fun.
‘We wanted to serve kebabs in a different way. This is the first time you will ever see a shop like this.’
All of the meat served in the shop is halal and they have many plant based/vegan options available.
The shop had its grand opening yesterday and staff were shocked at the response the shop got.
Giulio added: ‘It was very busy, there were people coming in all day long. That is the biggest difference from Italy.
‘Over there people only buy kebabs at lunch time but London is such a multicultural place that you get people eating at all times of day.
‘We had people coming in till midnight and we had to tell them all that we were closing. All three floors were still packed with people. It is honestly so cool.’
Despite their range of toppings from across the world and Italian inspiration, he says they still provide ‘premium authentic kebabs’ as their meat is all from Turkish suppliers.
Kebhouze’s Chief Marketing Officer Giulio Paterno Kebhouze
Italian chain Kebhouze (pictured) has opened a huge restaurant on Oxford Street in London, claiming it is the biggest kebab house in the UK
The new flagship store in central London is Kebhouze’s first in the UK, but there are plans to open more
Founded in Milan two years ago, the Italian franchise has opened 24 restaurants across Italy and Spain
Passersby couldn’t help but stop and look at the grand restaurant with its fun and playful exterior.
Tom Webb, 30, works in the shop next door and had to come round on his lunch break just to see how the place was doing.
He said: ‘It has a similar weird vibe to the American candy stores and Harry Potter shops around here.
‘Although, with the exception of this place, I do think the downfall of Oxford Street is past its trough and the place is slowly starting to pick up again.
‘Lots of the bigger companies have started to breathe a bit of light back to into this street.’
Some happy customers came away from the fast-food chain smiling and satisfied.
One of those customers was 30-year-old Adam Black, who said: ‘It was very refreshing, I loved the Italian influence in the wraps.
‘The marketing is also great the place is so bright and fun. I would love to come back and it would be great to get more stores.’
Another couple, Emma Milburn and Ruben Gover, had travelled over from Spain to London for the holidays.
Being big fans of the stores back home they were thrilled to see the store after a long day of shopping.
Emma said: ‘It was absolutely perfect, we wanted something quick and cheap and that 100 per cent hit the spot.
‘We were starving, there is no food on Oxford Street, and we have been shopping all day.
‘When we saw this place we were so happy and went straight in.
‘I think it might have actually been better than the restaurants they have in Spain.
‘Over there the meat it a bit dryer but here it was super moist and delicious.’
Two 19-year-old girls, who didn’t want to be named, also said they loved the experience.
One girl said: ‘It was really nice and the staff were super friendly.
‘The interior is also really good. Overall it was just a great experience can’t fault it.’
However, many customers were unimpressed with the waiting times for food.
Mum Rochelle Hurt, 36, visited with her 11-year-old daughter for lunch.
She said: ‘We have been waiting 20 minutes for our food – I am absolutely never coming back here again.
‘This is just not fast food and they can’t market it like that if its going to take this long.
‘The food better taste good after all that, but either way I am not ever returning.’
Another potential customer named Alberto ranted about the speed of the food.
He said: ‘The wait is just too long, it needs to be faster.
‘They call it fast food but with this place it is all talk, we need to see some action.’
Other people taking a look at the shop doubted its authenticity stating ‘It is definitely vibrant but I wouldn’t buy anything there it just doesn’t look authentic.
A potential customer named Alberto ranted about the speed of the food. He said: ‘The wait is just too long, it needs to be faster. They call it fast food but with this place it is all talk, we need to see some action’
‘I would want to go give my money to an authentic Turkish spot.’
However, many customers were unimpressed with the waiting times for food.
London’s famous shopping street has endured a tough couple of years with Covid-19 lockdowns and disruption caused by the recent construction of the Elizabeth line.
According to a survey by the Local Data Company in March, it found 42 of Oxford Street’s 269 stores – around 16% – were vacant, making it one of the most deserted high streets in the UK.
More positively, some big names have been coming back to the area, including jewellery giant Pandora in August.
Last month, music retailer HMV reopened its flagship store after four years, with a triumphant opening featuring the band Madness, and shoppers queued down the road to get inside.