Naturally Fast Food chain LEON has raised the curtain on its brand new, all-singing restaurant in the West End
Located on London’s iconic Shaftesbury Avenue, the new restaurant is serve the full LEON menu, from breakfast through to dinner and all the bits in-between but with a West End twist. In homage to their showbiz neighbours the team not only serve, but sing for customers.
The forty-strong team come from all over the UK and are all ages and stages, but are united in their hope that performing at LEON will help propel them on to the West End stage and beyond. They were cast after impressing panels of seasoned professionals at auditions- Helen George (Call the Midwife), Alexander Armstrong (Armstrong and Miller), Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter) and Jay Aston (Eurovision winner with Bucks Fizz).
Co-founder of LEON John Vincent, who was also on the audition panel, said:
We did it! In just six weeks we auditioned, hired and trained a team who can both prepare the full range of LEON’s menu AND belt out a show tune or pop classic in between times. I’ve watched them perform both individually and as an ensemble – they gave me goose bumps. I’m biased as I’m from a household that LOVES musicals, but it’s going to be incredible – come and see for yourself.”
The cast comprises drama and musical theatre students (past and present) and others with no formal training but who secured a spot on the team when it became clear they had undiscovered talent. All have a range of personal favourite tracks; everything 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.
Cast members have all had professional head shots taken by Theatre Land photographer Manuel Harlan and 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 give team members professional vocal training, quarterly master classes to prepare for successful auditions and time off to attend auditions.
The restaurant decor reflects its Theatre Land surroundings. A deep red carpet will lead guests to the counter, the iconic LEON lady is draped in glitter and the walls will display pictures of members of the LEON family dressed for performances. A lift has been redesigned as a Royal Box, the seating is named the Stalls, there are posters in tribute to classic musicals and musical costumers, and memorabilia from existing LEON family members (employees).
LEON in the West End is located on Shaftesbury Avenue where the road meets Wardour Street, opposite the Queen’s Theatre. The restaurant carries the full LEON menu including classics like the Moroccan meatball hotbox, the signature fish finger wrap, and the original super salad. Does this sound like your idea of food heaven or musical / food hell?
Venue: LEON, 62 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6LT