Sunday, September 20, 2015

Grand Central Is finally open! (the insiders opinion) + photos!

After 2 and a half years, a million or so people walking through and millions of pounds spent on construction, Grand Central is finally open for business. I have been employed at the station from the moment that it first reopened*.  I have seen many changes in the time that I have been there. For example only about a week ago the extended New St entrance was a filthy dump which was strictly only for staff to venture through. But with a bit of concrete, wooden flooring and a nice covering it looks as fresh, clean and as modern as the rest of the station. The natural light which used to evade us on a daily basis now floods throughout the station, through the massive skylight  in the centre of it all. I got into work today at 7am** through the massive and very imposing Hill Street entrance. It's the sort of building that you don't walk into so much as walk under. Vibes were positive in our little coffee shop, and my manager was proud of the 'once in a lifetime' experience that we have all been a part of. A couple of the builders all grouped together for some photographs while cheering (it's not even finished yet) and two male ballet dancers in checked shirts spun around gracefully to the dramatic strings of  Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack***
The experience of having a huge station on my right that I am unfamiliar with next to the stuff on the left which I know like the back of of my hand**** is a very surreal one, which I am still getting used too. The new stores are mostly  restaurants but there is a few interesting exceptions, for the ladies there is Hema (a bit like muji), Cath Kidston, The White Company and plenty of new things to be discovered on the 24th and filled out after then.  Old friends I used to work with are in the station and happily the current Starbucks team is the best yet.
The building lacks the elegance that Selfridge's and the Library have,  but  it is far more attractive once built than I ever thought it would be. The media eyes are stunning and it fits in with it's surroundings surprisingly well. It took 3 years to build but only 3 weeks to actually finish. Have a look around the new units if you like, but visit the Starbucks. We're fast, friendly and I'll probably be there, we can talk about music and stuff.





The current list of all the shops I am aware of that weren't already open prior to 20/9/15 are as follows.
Yo! sushi, John Lewis, Cath Kidston, The White Company, Pret, PHO, Joe's, Joe and the juice, Leon, Doddle, Hema, Five Guys, Benugo, Oliver Bonas, Hotel Chocolat, All Bar One.

*http://burminum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/birmingham-new-street-station.html
** That's not even early for me
*** I am such a nerd
****URRGH, Clich├ęs

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