American malls have been bruised and battered by online retailers. The big-box department stores that were once of the anchor of the American shopping mall look like they are on their way out. Here, MarketWatch reports on a new concept that may replace department stores as the anchors of malls.
As department stores struggle, a new type of tenant may take their place: food halls.
“Food will be an anchor tenant for many major real-estate developments in this country,” said Damian Mogavero, a culinary industry insider who spoke to MarketWatch ahead of the publication of his book “The Underground Culinary Tour: How the new metrics of today’s top restaurants are transforming the way America eats.”
Food halls — think a number of restaurants, bars and more under one roof — play to the trend of food lovers seeking high-quality ingredients in a more casual setting. Menus are smaller and for restaurant owners, costs are lower. They bring in both top chefs and up-and-coming chefs, and are popping up in cities like Detroit (housed in refashioned shipping containers) and Nashville.
In Plano, Texas, outside of Dallas, a 55,000-square-foot food hall is expected to open in the fall with more than 20 artisanal food stalls, a brewery and a stage for live music. It’s part of a giant multi-used development called Legacy West that will include Toyota’s new U.S. headquarters and other major corporate offices as well as condominiums, hotels and more restaurants.
Several new ones are popping up in New York City, where Gotham West Market and Eataly are already fixtures. TV food star Anthony Bourdain is planning to open one later this year on the Hudson river a few blocks from the High Line and the Whitney Museum. Two food halls, DeKalb Market Hall and Gotham Market at The Ashland, are expected opening within blocks of each other in Brooklyn this year.
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