Neil Gomme and sister-in-law Carrie Mitchell are bringing their British street-food concept London Calling to the Battlefield Mall food court.
Launched as a food truck in October 2013, London Calling operates a stationary truck at the 836 N. Glenstone Ave. food truck park, a mobile kitchen for events, and a kitchen and retail space in the South National Price Cutter supermarket. The Battlefield Mall plans were first reported by the Springfield News-Leader.
Gomme said the mall fits well with London Calling’s signature handheld filled pastries known as pasties. Remodeling of the corner food court unit, between Chick-fil-A and Auntie Anne's Pretzels, is expected to be complete before Black Friday, Nov. 24, by Total Quality Construction LLC.
In addition to food and British-themed souvenirs, the food counter will feature a small pub with nine seats and a 20-person patio, reaching eight feet into the indoor mall’s walkway. Although the food is meant for strolling shoppers, Gomme said, beer served by the pub must stay within the London Calling footprint.
“We’ll have a British pub with British ales, Guinness and such,” United Kingdom native Gomme said.
The mall, owned by Simon Property Group LP, boasts 12 million visitors each year, according to its website.
London Calling’s 1,000-square-foot space had equipment left by former occupant The Rim, Gomme said, so the undisclosed remodeling expenses are minimal. Five new employees already have been hired for the mall shop, bringing the total number of people employed by Gomme and Mitchell to 15.
London Calling’s home in the North Glenstone food truck park was recently in jeopardy of closing because some vendors were improperly disposing of greasy dishwater into the city sewer system, Gomme said. All vendors were required to install grease traps, which has secured their ongoing presence in the parking lot along the high-traffic roadway, he said.
The Price Cutter shop also was updated this month, moving from a kiosk in the middle of the store to an area between the main grocery section and the liquor store on the north side of the building. London Calling now leases a 1,500-square-foot kitchen, formerly occupied by Ziggie’s Cafe, and uses it for all of its production.
The mobile truck, Gomme said, makes routine stops at Mercy, CoxHealth and Jack Henry & Associates.
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