Food Halls Multiply Across America


There are 340 food halls in the U.S. now, with more than 100 under development.

Food Halls are rapidly multiplying in suburbs following the pandemic, reported the Wall Street Journal. Food halls are collections of small restaurants that offer shared seating and a variety of gourmet and ethnically diverse cuisines and target consumers who “are willing to spend $15 on an artisanal sandwich or want a meal from West Africa or one inspired by Asian open-air markets,” the Journal reports.

According to real-estate firm Cushman & Wakefield’s Colicchio Consulting Group, which specializes in food-hall development, there are over 340 open food halls in the United States and approximately 127 under development in the United States that are expected to open in 2023 or 2024.

The pandemic allowed food halls to expand—people left major cities and spent more time working from home, increasing the demand for suburban food halls, said the Journal. “The suburban market always had the nighttime population,” said Trip Schneck, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield. “Now they’ve got that daytime population.”

Rowell, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, is currently scheduled to have a food hall opened next summer, reported the Journal. Polara Capital, a private-equity and real-estate firm, is renovating the former Atlanta Street Baptist Church to become a 12,000 square foot food hall, with eight restaurants, three bars, a private dining area, entertainment and a big screen television.

Mini, or bite-size, food halls are finding the most success post-pandemic as they develop in smaller, more rural areas, said the Colicchio Consulting Group. Golden, Colorado, is now home to three smaller food halls. The latest, the Morris & Mae Food Hall, combines a food hall concept with a coworking space.

Despite the recent growth, not everyone loves food halls. Keith Durst, owner of the hospitality advisory firm Friend of Chef, told the Journal that the space can often feel impersonal due to the eclectic and casual nature. “I think hospitality is important and it gets lost in those environments,” he said.

Source : Convenience