Food market operators London Union and Time Out Market, plus international foodhall concept Eataly are all believed to have shown an interest in opening a new flagship scheme in London’s Covent Garden, MCA understands.

All three companies are understood to be in talks with Shaftesbury to take on its Thomas Neal’s Warehouse opportunity in Seven Dials, which is a listed Victorian Warehouse offering c22,000sq ft of retail and restaurant space.

Shaftesbury is believed to be currently evaluating a shortlist of proposals from interested parties.

Eataly had previously been in talks with Selfridges regarding launching in the UK, but it is thought these talks have been put on hold indefinitely.

Earlier this month, Time Out told MCA that it would continue to look for new locations for its Market concept in London, after its bid to open in Spitalfields was rejected.

Time Out Markets chief executive Didier Souillat told MCA the group was disappointed with the outcome, which came despite the recommendation from the Tower Hamlets Council’s planning department that the development be given the go-ahead.

Souillat said the group still believe the format, which brings fine-dining level cooking to an informal market environment, would be a positive addition to London.

London Union, the Jonathan Downey and Henry Dimbleby, opened its latest street food market, Giant Robot, earlier this in Canary Wharf.

The company behind the Street Feast model plans to open several new iconic London markets as well as one central, flagship market in the heart of the capital.