THE renovated Shelter Hall is an impressive sight on Brighton seafront.

Work on the building at the bottom of West Street started in October 2015 and now, after almost five years, it has opened as a bustling food hall called Shelter Hall Raw.

Though it was forced to launch under testing conditions, with the context of the coronavirus crisis impossible to ignore, the site has already proved popular with visitors.

Shelter Hall Raw bosses describe the venture as "the UK’s first socially distanced food hall; a pop-up food market with an eclectic mix of local brands".

The Argus:

It is "the best of Brighton brought together under one roof, with an emphasis on fresh, local, artisan produce".

There are already six food and drink businesses based at the Shelter Hall, with further announcements on the way.

These are Lost Boys Chicken, home-made houmous specialists Smorl's, Mexican cuisine masters Carlito Burrito, cheese and meat maestros Toasted by GB Charcuterie, pizza restaurant Fatto a Mano and Brighton Coffee Works.

A spokesman for Shelter Hall Raw said: "At Shelter Hall we don’t just work alongside the community, we work within the community.

"Restaurants play a critical role in our communities and we have a laser focus on supporting the local, food and drink traders in Brighton and the eco-system that maintains them; local farmers and suppliers.

The Argus:

"We provide a platform for our food traders, they pay no deposits and we have a strict policy of highlighting local produce and prioritising its use where possible.

"Brighton beach is a unique city resource and we, as a business, will continue to protect and manage it as part of our pledge to the community.

"Our team is extremely proactive in beach cleaning and engages team members in regular, daily beach cleaning schedules."