Promising a festival vibe in a beautiful building on the beach, welcome to the pop–up food hall redesigned to provide a safe social foodie destination from the 4th July.

It’s been a quiet and somewhat troubling time for the hospitality industry of late. Enforced closures and a countrywide lockdown have resulted in a huge rise in home cooking and, sadly, a huge downturn in the food and drink industry. If like me, you’re sick to the back teeth of banana bread and have started plotting the untimely murder of your sourdough starter, help is at hand. Shelter Hall Raw, the foodie destination that works within the Brighton community rather than alongside it, opens on Saturday 4th July.

Bringing together an eclectic line-up of Brighton’s best food and drinks businesses under one roof and supporting the farmers and suppliers that maintain them, the revamped Shelter Hall originally built in 1880’s and occupying 15,000 square foot will open its ground floor. The concept has been designed during COVID-19 to provide a dining experience that meets social distancing and safety guidelines.

Shelter Hall Raw is the first venture from Sessions Market Ltd, an ethically driven business building food halls that are cemented in local culture and support local businesses and residents. Set up by ex-Managing Director of Deliveroo, Dan Warne has worked hand-in-hand with Brighton & Hove City Council to transform Brighton’s iconic Victorian Shelter Hall building into a place for local food and drink traders and suppliers to thrive.

The food hall will feature up to ten of Brighton’s brightest culinary businesses on a pop-up, rotation basis, to give support to a vast collection of Brighton businesses. Shelter Hall Raw kicks off with delicious food and drink from local food and drink superstars such as Fatto a ManoLost Boys ChickenCarlito Burrito, Brighton Coffee Works, Toasted by GB Charcuterie and Smorls, all offering their specialties to eat in or take-away. With a focus on fresh artisan produce and supporting local businesses, especially SMEs and start-ups, Shelter Hall Raw aims to help them flourish, particularly in the difficult times brought by COVID-19 to the hospitality industry.

To ensure the building is safe for a COVID-19 era, extensive safety measures have been taken to avoid any spread of the virus include minimising contact between staff and customers, with orders taken via a mobile app,, using an apple or android device. Food and drink will be delivered to tables for guests to dine in or ready for collection at a separate takeaway window.

For those concerned about dining out during our “new normal”, please be assured that all steps have been taken to maximise the large hall space and keep social distance. Access will be via one entrance so staff can closely monitor the number of people in the building at any given time. Tables will be distanced, some fitted with screens, with groups limited to four people, so you can still enjoy a catch up over a plate of deliciousness without worrying about cross-contamination or crowded restaurants.

Session Market’s CEO Dan Warne, said: Hospitality has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the pandemic, and Shelter Hall Raw provides a new, safe environment from which these businesses can now operate, as many have been unable to fully reopen. In the future, when it’s safe to do so, we will extend this space to local musicians, DJs and artists. Our vision has always been to run a vibrant community-led space on the beach. We want it to feel like a small festival, where visitors and locals will get a flavour of the city’s delicious and diverse food offerings, and its cultural scene, all under one roof.”

As well as encouraging all traders to source produce locally, the new Shelter Hall Raw team has worked closely with non-profit Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to streamline the hall’s food waste and offer sustainable packaging. Additional signage, bins and recycling facilities will be added to the beach to ensure its kept clean and staff will monitor outdoor areas to ensure that waste is disposed of responsibly. The Hall is also serving as a case study for Circular Brighton & Hove (CBH), a network supporting the transition to a circular economy in the greater Brighton region.

As well as creating opportunities for independent local businesses and providing a vibrant place for residents to meet, the hall will generate 100 new jobs and benefit the local economy.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion added: It’s good to finally see this project nearing completion and that the new look Shelter Hall will soon be opening its doors. I’m looking forward to seeing the project showcase our city’s brilliant and vibrant independent food and drink sector, bringing much loved businesses from across the city to Brighton beach.

“Like much of the seafront, years of under-investment had taken its toll and Shelter Hall had fallen into disrepair. I hope this new Food Hall will show what can be done when coastal towns are supported through proper funding. Protecting our seafront heritage is an issue of city-wide importance and I’m proud of the role Green Councilors played in securing the £9 million of Government investment for this project.”

Labour MP, Peter Kyle, said: “The hospitality sector is in crisis, so I’m proud and filled with hope to see this innovative solution on Brighton seafront. Rather than slump in disappointment at an enforced delay to fully opening, owners have shown the best of British by creating this food hall for the Covid-19 era. I want the public to love it and I want other small business owners to be inspired by it, and I’m sure they will be.”

Opening Times:

· Monday to Thursday from 11am to 11pm

· Friday and Saturday from 11am to 12am

· Sunday it will close at 9pm

Note: All food stalls will stop serving an hour before the venue shuts.

So there you have it: an official excuse to put down the yeast, shove the cake tins back into the dark depths of the cupboard, and admit to yourself that sometimes it’s nicer to have someone else cook for you. Do your bit for the local economy and let’s make the Brighton food scene bloomin’ brilliant again.

Bookings for Shelter Hall Raw can be made directly at

Comments are closed.