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BT Tower Restaurant Set To Reopen

Published on 02-11-2009 by
One of the greatest pieces of modern architecture in London, the BT Tower, is to reopen to the public almost 30 years after it originally closed.

Designed by Bedford and Yeats of the Ministry of Works the tower was renovated in 2000 by Baily Garner who had the top of it, originally a public area, converted into a corporate hospitality suite for British Telecom which involved not only an overhaul of the décor, but also repairing the famous rotational machinery so that it would once again be able to rotate.

It is this that gave the top of the tower much of its early reputation with the capability for it to complete a full turn once every 22 minutes and it was this area that was originally a restaurant, managed by Butlins.

By 1980 however security concerns saw the lease run out on the restaurant without renewal, something aided perhaps by a bomb attack in 1971, allegedly carried out by the IRA.

As late as 2007 there were no plans by British Telecom to reopen this to the public although ever improving security measures combined with the potential rents from a top quality restaurant in the west-end of London may have proven to be a sufficient inducement for the owners.

British Telecom are now in the process of looking for a top quality chef who is interested in the space. Names in the potential list include Gary Rhodes who already has experience in running a high-rise establishment at Tower 42, and Sainsbury's poster boy, Jamie Oliver.

The 60-70 diner establishment is expected to open in time for Christmas 2011 with many hoping this will mark the reopening of the tower for other public activities once more.

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