The UK’s supposed biggest leisure complex has partly opened in Southampton, followed by a lavish celebration tomorrow including a parade and digital light show. Watermark, which cost £85 million to build, will include 20 restaurants, 18 of which currently have no outlets in the city.
For Real Greek and Red Dog, the outlets at Watermark will be their first to open outside London, while L’Osteria, an Austrian pizza chain, will open its first UK restaurant there.
The unprecedented nature of the development was highlighted by Sarah Fox, head of restaurants and leisure at Hammerson, the company which owns the complex, adding that Watermark will be an ‘exploration’ for many diners.
She added that the city had a lack of restaurants and had previously struggled to attract them, commenting that-
“big name restaurants won’t come to a new area if they are going to be on their own- it’s too much of a leap”.
The second phase of the development will open to the public next week, including more restaurants and a Hollywood Bowl bowling complex.
Initially, the development was to include retail outlets, but changing consumer habits resulted in Watermark becoming solely a leisure complex.