City Foundry Food Hall & Market in the Plans for St. Louis Development

Cortex and The Lawrence Group, a design-build company headquartered in St. Louis, MO are expanding on their their plans for the Federal Mogul site in Midtown St. Louis.  The site is just down the road from the Midtown IKEA and has been in the planning stage for several years.  It was once envisioned as a basic commercial strip center, but Cortex and The Lawrence Group have released plans that display a full-scale mixed-use development with commercial, office, and residential components.  The entire development could cost almost $250 million USD when all is said and done according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Feast Magazine earlier this week released details on the commercial piece in this article.

According to Feast, the commercial space will be titled “City Foundry Food Hall & Market”, and will include up to 24 food stalls and 3 to 5 full-service restaurants.  In addition to the F&B, there are also plans for 40 retail spaces that would support the culinary offerings.  Some of these retail spaces could sell food items or cookware, but the majority are to likely be non-food related.  City Foundry could open as early as Fall 2018.

The developers have brought on a culinary consultant who is acting as “director of culinary services”.  The consultant, Brad Beracha, who operates a restaurant in St. Louis spoke with Feast Magazine regarding the types of food vendors they will be looking for and the types of concepts that could be at City Foundry:

“Going back to the spirit of innovation and what this building has done since 1930, we really want to get some of the best concepts in the city to come and do something different,” Beracha says. “We don’t want people to just take what they’re currently doing and put it in the food hall – we want to have something that people can’t get anywhere else in St. Louis. It’s challenging the entrepreneurs to get creative and innovative themselves with what they want to offer within the space so that we can create a culinary community moving forward”

This comes back to the blog post I had posted last week regarding the Food Court vs. Food Hall debate.  The developers have entrusted Beracha in curating interesting new culinary concepts for the Food Hall, rather then taking the easy way out and putting in a few local famous chefs and filling it up with local/regional chains.  If planned in a way that Beracha has discussed above, the Food Hall could very well become a great culinary destination in St. Louis.

The initial rendering looks great with high ceilings, lots of windows to allow outside light, and living green walls interspersed along the side.


City Foundry Food Hall & Market – Image credited to Feast Magazine



1028 Market and The Hall in San Francisco

When War Horse and Tidewater Capital purchased 1028 Market Street in San Francisco several years ago, the building occupying the site was previously used as a billiards hall.  Rather than let the building sit empty while the development group went through a lengthy rezoning, entitlement and development approvals process, they decided to implement a very cool  food hall, event, and community gathering space.  It is a temporary use project to keep the site active.  Think of it as a longer term pop-up culinary space.

“The Hall SF” launched in 2014 and has become a popular fixture at 1028 Market Street.  Although the building is not very large (less than 10,000 SF all-in), there are six rotating independent vendors, a liquor license allows for beer, wine, and spirits, and the entire Hall can be rented out for private events, weddings, corporate product launches, etc.  What is really innovative about hosting an event at The Hall is that all food and drink is catered by the vendors, providing a very unique and diverse menu to attending guests.


The Hall SF Interior – Image Credited to TheHallSF 

From The Hall SF website:

The Hall is the perfect venue for virtually any type of private culinary event.  We have communal tables for parties of 6-10 indoors or out, standing bar tables for happy hour events, and the capacity to host up to 150 for a wedding celebration or corporate get-together. Events can be built around sit-down dinners, drinks & canapés, hands-on culinary classes, wine tasting/education—just about anything related to eating and drinking. We welcome you to enjoy a personal tour of our space to see what we have to offer and to inspire ideas for your next event!

Since The Hall was always planned as a temporary use project to keep 1028 Market Street active during the planning process, once demolition begins, it will have to move to another location.  The developer is already looking into other locations for The Hall, but it remains to be seen whether it can be relocated within the neighborhood.  The Hall could potentially move back into 1028 Market Street once the mixed-use development is completed, but again, nothing is set-in-stone yet.  I’m sure to local residents, they would love to see The Hall re-emerge and become a permanent fixture so that it can continue to “Harness the Power of Food to Build Community” as their website states.

Due to The Hall’s relatively small footprint in comparison to many other Food Halls in the United States, it would only require a small anchor space or the amalgamation of several small inline retail units.

Overall, The Hall is a great success story of temporary space being utilized by a developer.  It provides a new revenue stream to the developer while they wait for their development entitlements.  It provides budding chefs and culinary entrepreneurs a temporary space to try a new concept or start up their business.  It provides the community with a cool hangout spot.  It activates the street rather than a blank wall or empty building.


The Hall SF Outdoor Patio – Image Credited to TheHallSF


Shipping Containers and Food Halls

One of my favorite spots to eat when I visit Toronto is not along trendy King Street West or the St Lawrence Market neighborhood, but at Market 707 along Dundas Street.  An initiative of the Scadding Court Community Centre, Market 707 has been operational for approximately 5 years now.

A “food pod” of sorts, the street food and retail market is housed entirely in retrofitted shipping containers that have been placed in front of the community centre.  The 10 individual containers provide affordable space for entrepreneurs who do not have the financial capacity to open a full-scale brick-and-mortar restaurant.  A wide-range of ethnic choices are available at Market 707, from French to Filipino to Atlantic Canadian.  Having tried most of the them while I lived in Toronto several years back, I commit to visiting Market 707 every time I am back in town. (If you only have the appetite for one vendor, I recommend the crepes and poutine at NomNomNom).


Market 707 at Scadding Court – Image Credited to BlogTO

Market 707 has also played a big part of revitalizing a tired part of Dundas Street West, where there has been limited foot traffic and commercial streetfront presence.  Market 707 has been able to create a very important pedestrian link between the Dundas St and Bathurst St node, and the ever-popular Kensington Market which is only a few blocks east. As the market has grown, new non-food vendors have also been added into the mix, such as jewelry, fashion, and a bike-repair shop.  Thinking outside the box (pun intended) has allowed Scadding Court to create a vibrant community hub in an area that was very underutilized.

More information from the Scadding Court website:

In response to community feedback, a desire for broadened local employment opportunities and an emerging redevelopment vision, SCCC developed an outdoor market along the Centre’s Dundas Street frontage. Attractive, colourful salvaged shipping containers retrofitted by Storstac now form the basis of a vibrant outdoor neighbourhood market that uses business and community economic development to animate the streetscape, link the surrounding neighbourhoods, generate jobs and revitalize an underutilized area of the City. Market 707 is ideal to start up your business, located in the up and coming Dundas Street West neighbourhood, between Kensington Market, Queen Street West and Chinatown.

If Market 707 and the famous food pods of Portland are the originals, the next generation of shipping container culinary oriented developments is beginning to hit the scene.  Detroit Shipping Co. is in the process of breaking ground on a food hall made almost entirely of retrofitted shipping containers.  It is planned to have five eateries, beer garden, two bars, galleries, pop-up stores, and a live-music space.  Food, art, and music seem to be hugely popular themes that are being placed together to create unique one-of-a-kind developments throughout North America.

The architectural renderings look great, and because the entire development is modular, construction is planned to last only 3 to 4 months which is of course much less than a typical development.  All operators are planned to be local entrepreneurs.  I’ll make sure to provide updates once the project is complete, which is expected to be late in the fall if everything goes according to plan.

Detroit Shipping Co. 5_eater

Detroit Shipping Co. – Image credited to



Pine Street Market becomes a hit in Food-Obsessed Portland

There a lot of great places to eat in Portland.  From my three visits down the I-5 over the past couple years, I have been able to try quite a few of them.  From food cart pods to brick-and-mortar restaurants, Portland does F&B right.

The biggest hype for the city this year, or at least the downtown core, is the recent opening of Pine Street Market at 2nd Street and Pine.  The 10,000 SF space is located in a historic building and has nine operators that are the “who’s who” of culinary gastronomy in Portland.  This includes popular ice cream maker Salt & Straw opening its new concept, Wiz Bang Bar, which features a plethora of soft serve ice cream flavors with various toppings.  Although the 10,000 SF space for a food hall is not very large in comparison to many of the recent openings of food halls across the United States, the owners of Pine Street Market curated a strong list of operators and customers have been coming in droves over the past few months.  The reviews have been primarily positive as well, even though it may simply be a cooler version of a food court.

Image credited to Travel Portland

Image credited to Travel Portland


Image Credited to The Oregonian

Revival Food Hall in Chicago Nearly Ready for Opening

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Revival Food Hall in Chicago’s “Loop” plans to open in mid-August, and once in operation, will be the largest and most diverse food option in the area.  It will encompass 24,000 SF of space, featuring 15 food stalls, a coffee shop, bar, record store, and reading corner.

Its prime location will create destination appeal for office workers, local residents, and the tourist crowd.  The developer and operator, 16″ On Center has stated that most food stall operators will be local restaurants, providing a breeding ground for experimentation.  In classic Chicago fashion, the Food Hall will be located in a stunning building (The National) that was originally designed by architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham in 1907.  The property owner, Blue Star, has fully retrofitted the buildings interior which will include office space, outdoor terraces, and a fitness area, in addition to the Food Hall.  It will be exciting to see visuals of the Revival Food Hall once it opens, and whether it will employ design language from Food Halls of the early 20th century.