London Man Transforms Old Phone Booth Into a Pop-Up Salad Shop

Spiers Salads
Spiers Salads / Spiers Salads

Like your lunch quick, light, and served with a side of novelty? If that’s the case (and you’re traveling to England in the near future), you should swing by Spier’s Salads. The pop-up salad shop is housed in an old London phone booth in Bloomsbury Square (a park in central London), Tech Insider reports. It officially launched on May 4, just in time for al fresco dining season.

From the outside, Spier’s Salads looks like your typical red phone booth. Inside, however, it’s equipped with power, a mini-fridge, and several shelves stocked with two deli dishes (salmon, roast beef, etc.) and five varieties of hearty, healthy salad.

Ben Spier, who owns the pop-up shop, serves food on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. His salads are made locally using organic, seasonal produce, and typically cost anywhere from $5 to $8.50. Featured on this week’s menu? For one, roasted chicken salad, served with sumac, pomegranate molasses, chili, and sesame seeds.

A salad shop inside a telephone booth may sound like a gimmick, but it’s actually part of a greater business scheme designed to create employment opportunities and breathe new life into England's unused phone booths. The country's iconic red fixtures have dwindled over the years thanks to cell phones and other advances in communication technology. In 2002, NPR reports, there were 92,000 booths across England. As of 2014, there were only 48,000—and many of them were no longer in use.

That’s why in 2014, two Brighton businessmen, Eddie Ottewell and Steve Beeken, teamed up with communications company BT to launch the Red Kiosk Company. Their business transforms England’s old, out-of-use phone booths into offices for aspiring entrepreneurs. Currently, there are more than a dozen re-purposed phone booths across England selling coffee, ice cream, and other items.

Now, thanks to Spier, who originally launched his business in 2011, there’s also one selling salad. "I chose to sell from the phone box, because they're beautiful London icons which are used—a perfect brownfield redevelopment," he told Tech Insider.

[h/t Tech Insider]