Boxpark brings hipster cool to Wembley

Olympic Way has just become the hottest address in Brent due to the new arrival of a very hip neighbour.

Ever heard of Roger Wade? The Londoner who founded a company called Boxfresh which started out selling sports gear from a market stall to later being acquired by JD Sports owner, Pentland Group.

He then went on to be the brainchild behind Boxpark in 2011 which started in Shoreditch, where those stacked up shipping containers captured the coolness which was already spearheaded by Shoreditch and gave us the, “world’s first pop-up mall”.

Wade didn’t stop at Shoreditch, two years ago he opened a sister site in Croydon and now today BoxPark Wembley will be opening in the shadow of the Stadium.

Where?

The Wembley Park site will be located where the Wembley Theatre had planned to be before it got scrapped. Situated next to residential and student accommodation this will be the first indoor Boxpark, equipped with a roof to reduce the noise and disturbance which the venue has a bit of a reputation for.

Controversial

Boxpark has a licence to allow alcohol to be sold from noon to 11pm almost every day resulting in residents in Shoreditch branding Boxpark as Boozepark; describing it as a “nightly, out-of-control street festival”. Another resident described it as a ‘noisy beer tent that bombards the surrounding neighbourhood with very loud music.’

Destination

As Wembley Boxpark is next to the stadium it will aim to offer the “greatest fan experience in the world”. The venue will partner with events at the Stadium to be the pre- or post-event destination. It closes at 11PM which means Football fans will hang around after events have ended, which is good news for the bars and restaurants but not so much for residents.

Design

It takes inspiration from its predecessor in Shoreditch, with the trademark “shipping container aesthetic”, bold oversized signage, contrasting black and white facade on the outside. On the inside, it’s a giant industrial barnyard, lit up with impressive neon lighting, furnished with communal tables and a stage. It’s the largest Boxpark yet, covering a floor area of 50,000 sq ft holding 2,000-person capacity events space.

Dining in

There will also be a big focus on independent food traders, Wembley Boxpark will be partnering with food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. This will provide more choice for people who like to dine in but it will also bring an army of mopeds to the area. Residents have continually clashed with Deliveroo, due to their reckless mopeds riding up and down pavements.

Dining out

Here are 20 confirmed food and drink vendors, mostly offering burgers and east asian cuisine:

Burgers, Chicken & Chips

  • Cut + Grind
  • Drums & Flats
  • Smoky Boys
  • Nanny Bills
  • Chip Nation

East Asian

  • Ugly Dumpling
  • Mitsuryu
  • Thai Express
  • Zucla

Indian

  • Bombay Burrito
  • Spice Shack
  • Koolcha

Cafe

  • Boki Coffee
  • Oatopia
  • Gabagools

Mediterranean

  • Kabab
  • The Athenian

Italian

  • Zia Lucia
  • Wolf

Caribbean

  • Mama Jacq’s

Mexican

  • Hola Gaucamole

Tapas

  • Tapavino

Launch weekend

Saturday 8th Rinse FM will be taking over the venue for the night.

  • Doors open at 18:00
  • Event ends at 23:00

On Sunday 9th, Bingo Lingo with Tim Westwood

  • Doors open at 18:00
  • Event ends at 22:00

Boxpark opening hours:

  • Saturday: 9am–10pm
  • Sunday – Friday: 9am–11pm

Address:

  • Olympic Way, Wembley HA9 0JT

Capacity

  • Wembley Stadium, 90,000 people
  • Wembely Arena, 12,500 people
  • Boxpark Wembley, 2,000 people

With the arrival of Boxpark, the resulting change will bring more lively, more busy, more friction, more noise, more entertainment, more food, more drink, more people, more risk, more opportunity and more traffic to Wembley. We will have to learn to live with this change, while the old understated Wembley will be missed.

Image credit Boxpark Wembley