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The Primacy of Food Hall Gathering Places

In a world of chain retail and restaurants, food halls can deliver an authentic local experience.

The primacy of food hall gathering places has been established for generations, but in the U.S. these venues are just now being fully realized.   For those unfamiliar with the term and concept, food halls can range from 10,000 SF to well over 30,000 SF and under one roof feature numerous local chefs, taverns, butcher shops, and food (and beverage) oriented retail offerings.


Food halls got their start with major department stores in the UK, back in the late 18th and early 19th century.   Within the grand retail emporiums, a multi-venue food hall was a popular amenity for shoppers.   Some observers will note that gathering places with vibrant food credibility date back much further, to The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (1461), and Trajan’s Market (113 AD) in ancient Rome.


Over the past five years in the U.S., a large number of new food hall offerings have opened.  In general, these venues have been well received by consumers in their respective local markets.   The vitality of these places, the food preparation, the choice and authenticity of non-chain offerings, the camaraderie of the public place, the people watching, these food halls are terrific placemaking examples.  Some of the best new food halls are situated in major mixed-use developments and shopping malls that are being repurposed and redeveloped.


For 2020, the year of Covid-19, food halls have been sidelined.  Many argue that food halls will be the last to recover from the pandemic, since the magic of these food halls is the proximity of fellow diners brought together in joyful communal circumstances.   And since food halls depend on numerous operators at each location, these venues are difficult to operate at lesser capacities.  The primacy of food hall gathering has been with us since these earliest days.


The food hall concept was extremely popular through 2019, so there was likely some saturation of the concept prior to Covid-19 hitting the marketplace.   But like so many trendy products, after some reduction in number, the best of these food halls will endure and make their contribution to more vital communities.


The Primacy of Food Hall Gathering Places



Tracking the Major Players


We monitor this industry sector, watching the deals and new locations of the major food hall operators and their investors.  Our listing is just getting started, so we’ll appreciate your thoughts on food hall players we should have listed here.  Thank you for that!

Major Food Hall Operators
Food HallOperatorEstablishedAbout
Assembly Food Hall
Nashville, Tennessee
The Food Hall Co.2021 eA 100,000 SF food hall in development at Fifth + Broadway project. The venue will feature 30 food stalls, cocktail bars, and a rooftop venue for local musicians.
Budd Dairy Food Hall
Columbus, Ohio
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants2021 eTo be situated in the Budd Dairy building in the Italian Village community near downtown Columbus. 14,000 SF plus a rooftop deck.
Reno Public Market
Reno, Nevada
2021 eEnvisioned to have 15 to 20 food vendors, as well as an art collective, and other cultural vendors. A repurposing of the former Shoppers Square space.
Sandusky Market
Sandusky, Ohio
Collective Projects2021 eTo be located at the site of the former Kreimes Cardinal Grocery on East Washington Street.
Beast food hall at Area 15
Las Vegas, Nevada
Todd English2021Created by chef Todd English. The Beast kitchen will collaborate on menus and prepare dishes for a number AREA15's experiences including Dueling Axes, Emporium, Five Iron Golf and ongoing events and immersive dining experiences inside the venue.
Marketplace by La CochinaLa Cocina2021A 7,000 SF venue.
Combined with La Cocina’s community-led development, the Marketplace will aim to provide careers for residents of the neighborhood, in addition to its continued work to provide economic opportunities for low-income, immigrant, and women-of-color entrepreneurs.
State Street Market
Los Altos, California
Bon Appetit Management Company2021Los Altos Community Investments is the development group behind the food hall.
The Old North State Food Hall
67 Jr Rd Suite 300, Selma, North Carolina
Eastfield Hospitality, LLC2020 eTo be situated within a repurposed JR's Cigars warehouse. Ten unique, chef-driven concepts will be offered in 14,000 SF.
Citizen Public Market
9355 Culver Blvd., Culver City, California
2020The food hall is situated in restored former publishing house, the 2 story space includes eight restaurants along with patio seating and rooftop deck.
Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall
1811 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois
Hospitality HQ2020A concept of Akhtar Nawab, an award-winning chef and CEO of Hospitality HQ. To be operated at Chicago’s old Cook County Hospital building, featuring 10 chef-driven concepts in the historic space.
Glendora Public Market
Glendora, California
2020The 16,000 SF food hall is situated in a former Wonder Bread bakery, and features 10 food and drinks vendors,
Junction Food & Drink
2000 S Colorado Blvd Building IV, Denver, Colorado
202012,220 SF
Luna Park
601 S. Miami Ave Suite 181-C, Miami, Florida
202040,000 SF food hall located at Brickell City Centre in the space formerly occupied by La Centrale (opened 2018).
Lyric Market
411 Smith St., Houston, Texas
Hospitality HQ2020
Crave Food Hall at Discovery Park
20198,000 SF
Inner Rail Food Hall
1911 S. 67th Street, Omaha, Nebraska
Hospitality HQ2019
Food Hall at Crockett Row
3000 Crockett Street, Fort Worth Texas
Keg and Case West
928 7th St W, St Paul, Minnesota
2018The food hall opened with 23 distinct vendor spaces.
Little Italy Food Hall
550 W. Date Street, Suite B, San Diego, California
Morgan Street Food Hall & Market
Raleigh, North Carolina
Pythian Market
New Orleans, Louisiana
2018The food hall features 13 vendors.
Wichita, Kansas
Riverside Food Lab
3605 Market Street, Riverside, California
Arteco Partners2018At opening the food hall included 14 tenants. Located adjacent to the Fox Performing Arts Center.
China Live
644 Broadway, San Francisco, California
George Chen and Cindy Wong-Chen2017A 30,000 SF food hall in four levels.
DeKalb Market Hall
445 Albee Square West, Brooklyn, New York
2017Offers 40 entrepreneurs all manner of food and related in about 60,000 SF of underground space in Downtown Brooklyn.
FICO World Eataly
Via Paolo Canali, 8, 40127 Bologna BO, Italy
Politan Group2017A huge food park under one 100,000 square meter roof, featuring 45 branded Italian eateries.
Legacy Food Hall
7800 Windrose Ave., Plano, Texas
The Food Hall Co.2017
Central Food Hall at Ponce City Market
675 Ponce de Leon Ave., NE, Atlanta, Georgia
St. Roch Market
New Orleans, Louisiana
Time Out MarketsOakley Capital2014Time Out Market is a food and cultural market leveraging the Time Out brand to bring a curated roster of tenants under one roof, the best chefs, drinks, and cultural experiences according to the Time Out editors. The company's first unit was in Lisbon (Portugal).
Eataly Chicago
43 East Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois
Eataly - the CompanyEataly2007The food hall operator was established by Oscar Farinetti in 2007, in a repurposed vermouth factory in Turin, Italy.
Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Neighborhood Development Center and Cultural Wellness Center2006Located in the old Sears and Roebuck building on East Lake Street. The Neighborhood Development Center and the Cultural Wellness Center own the Market and continue to offer business support services to the merchants.
835 Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises1994Permanently shuttered in 2020, was located at Water Tower Place. First opened in 1994.
Pike's Place Market
Seattle, Washington
The Grand Bazaar
1461Among the earliest forms of "food hall" that has influenced what food halls are today.
Auction House Market
New Orleans, Louisiana
Chelsea Market
New York City
Located in the heart of New York City’s Meatpacking District. The site first housed the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory complex where the Oreo cookie was invented.
Cipriani Food Hall at Waterline Square
New York City
CiprianiAt 28,000 SF, Cipriani’s Food Hall first-ever large scale culinary food hall experience.
Fulton Galley
Fulton GalleyPermanently closed.
Rock Row
Portland, Maine

Food Halls

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