If you adore musicals and are not adverse to waiting staff breaking out into song then you will love LEON’s newly opened restaurant in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. LEON – promoted as purveyors of naturally fast food with its fresh seasonal dishes: LEON is the go-to for its Moroccan meatball hotbox, the signature Fish finger wrap, and the original Super salad.
In homage to their showbiz neighbours the team (or ‘cast members’) not only serve, but sing for customers in the hope that their talents will propel them to showbiz success. The forty-something team are not just talent-less wannabees they are made up of drama and musical theatre students (past and present) and others with no formal training but secured a spot in the cast when it became clear they had undiscovered talent. All have a range of personal favourite tracks; from Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’ and Sinatra’s ‘That’s Life’ to West End classics like Les Miserables ’I Dreamed a Dream’. Guests can expect a live track every two to three songs and can watch as team members switch from taking orders and making coffee to moving around the restaurant, performing live.
LEON have proven to be the ideal employer for those dreaming of the ‘big time’ and is committed to facilitating their staff’s starry ambitions: cast members have all had professional head-shots taken by Theatre Land photographer Manuel Harlan, these will fill the ‘Hall of Family’ picture gallery and populate the bespoke restaurant page online as part of plans to help promote the team members. LEON will also provide team members with professional vocal training, quarterly master classes to prepare for successful auditions and time off to attend auditions.
In terms of decor: a deep red carpet leads guests to the counter, the iconic LEON lady is draped in glitter and the walls display pictures of LEON cast members dressed for performances. A lift has been redesigned as a Royal Box, the seating are named Stalls, there are also posters paying tribute to classic musicals and musical costumers.
For a chance to be served and entertained by future West End stars head down to LEON, Shaftesbury Avenue. LEON is open for breakfast from 7 am and then open all day until 10 pm. For further information please visit: leonrestaurants.co.uk