Just Opened London is a new website that recently launched in beta. Based on the idea that city guides become quickly dated, the website lists restaurants, bars, hotels, exhibitions, fashion outlets, property and many other chic things that have ‘Just Opened’.
The site is edited by Kirsty Hathaway who previously worked in fashion roles at Company Magazine, GQ and Vogue. She also founded, and remains editor-in-chief of, Beach Tomato – an online magazine which covers travel, fashion and beauty. Though it is currently in beta, Kirsty has big plans for further functionality to be built into Just Opened London. A search function ‘by need’ e.g. a restaurant ideal for a date or post-theatre dinner, will be followed by other new features including a calendar and more editorial content.
A regular newsletter will include a guide on what to do, the latest pop-ups and interviews with interesting Londoners. Eventually the site will have a member’s area where personal to-do lists and reminders can be stored. Everything featured on the site will be archived and accessible at a later date but the emphasis is firmly on the new.
A curious audience
Kirsty believes Just Opened London is for ‘any Londoner who is curious and wants to take advantage of having a wide range of content in one place’. There’s also an appeal for tourists as well, Kirsty said: ‘If I was going to Berlin for the weekend, I would want to know about the newest places rather than getting stuck in a boring tourist trap’.
Social media is the only tool Just Opened London has so far used to publicise the site. Kirsty said: ‘Social media is great for engagement and conversations. We can briefly cover things we might not write about on the site and also start conversations.’ Just Opened also uses Twitter to connect with new places that may not have dedicated PR (especially small start-ups) and would otherwise be difficult to contact.
Kirsty believes the offering is unique: ‘There are great sites which cover what’s going on in London but nothing that’s direct competition’. The ‘Just Opened’ angle makes the content valuable to other publications and there is a possibility of future collaboration with London-based outlets.
Just Opened New York will launch this summer and will use Just Opened London as a business model. Kirsty believes it will help when employing an editor so they can see what’s expected in terms of tone and content. The Just Opened team is looking to go global and already has domain names for 40-50 cities worldwide.
From her career history, Kirsty already has relationships with travel, fashion, beauty and restaurant PRs but is looking to develop her culture and property contacts to maintain a broad level of content. Though she never puts press releases directly on the site, Kirsty likes to receive them and uses the information for fact boxes.
In terms of approach, Kirsty said: ‘Ideally I would like an alert or initial outreach highlighting a new opening, followed by a press release. The content is very curated and selective – it has to be of the right quality and fit the house style.’ That said anything from Balthazar opening to an off-the-beaten-track exhibition could be included as long as it’s relevant. Kirsty said, ‘It has to be London, and it has to be new.’