Leon to open one of its largest sites as number of UK stores hits 42

Leon Restaurants co-founders John Vincent (left) and Henry Dimbleby (right) talk to children in the canteen of Sacred Heart Primary RC School, on July 02, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.

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Naturally fast food chain LEON is set to open one of its largest sites in Oxford’s Cornmarket this month, taking its number of UK stores to 42.

Set over two floors with over 130 seats, the Oxford restaurant is designed to be the most family-friendly in the chain, with a dedicated play area, children’s library and a buggy park.

One of LEON’s aims is to be kind to the planet and it will use the Oxford outlet to debut a new waste recycling station for customers. Earlier this year it announced a move to a 100% renewable energy deal with Oxford-based provider Opus.

The décor of the new restaurant will include an original paper cut by artist Helen Musselwhite which celebrates the LEON coffee story, from bean to cup.

The Musselwhite pieces will be joined by portraits of LEON suppliers, taken by Harry Borden, former winner of the World Press Photo Awards, who has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.

The menu in Oxford will include the full LEON Christmas menu, with its own Christmas turkey, ham hock and stuffing wrap, and a turkey curry, pistachio and pomegranate sprout salad and mince pie, developed in collaboration with professional chef, food writer and TV presenter, Gizzi Erskine.

But guests will also have the opportunity to try dishes that have been on the menu since the first LEON opened in London’s Carnaby Street in 2004.

To celebrate the opening the chain will be cycling around the city handing out vouchers for free goodies. They’ll also be rewarding fellow cyclists with free coffee vouchers.

John Vincent (pictured), CEO of LEON, said: “At LEON we make naturally fast food that tastes good, does you good and is kind to the planet. We’re fast food, but fast food in heaven.

“Oxford is a city where you study, work and play hard. We want to be there where and when you need us so you can get on with all of that. And we’ll get on with loading the dishwasher.

“This will be one of our biggest, most family-friendly sites. At LEON family means everything to us. So come and take a seat at the dinner table.”

The new store has created 30 jobs in the area, will provide seating for 136 guests at a time and the store will offer delivery via Deliveroo.

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