by TJ AndersonThere’s a lot to celebrate about the Nashville food scene, and rightly, folks from around the country have been celebrating us more and more, for years now. The New York Times
Multiple Food Halls Coming To Nashville
by TJ Anderson
If you’ve spent any time in New York, I hope you’ve made it to the Chelsea Market, one of the best food haunts in a city obviously full of world-class food haunts.
It’s technically an “enclosed urban food court” (with some office space an shops worked in), but what that means on the ground: It’s like big-city eating writ small, a twinkling wonderland of sights and smells, the aroma of fresh-baked baguettes and fresh-brewed coffee wafting from little pocket bread shops and cafes, diners huddled with bowls of fresh-made pasta, people filling baskets with all kinds of artisan goodness to bring home and cook.
As busy as it is, it’s kind of a respite from the city, and a place where people tune out the hurry-up-and-go, and tune into eating, drinking and enjoying.
My love letter to the Chelsea Market isn’t encouragement to buy a plane ticket to New York, though. It’s my way of explaining why I’m so happy to see the food hall concept making its way to Nashville in a big way.
At least two food halls in the works
Right now, the Nashville Farmers’ Market in the Germantown area is the closest thing we have to a Chelsea Market-style food hall, and it ably provides a key food-hall thing: the opportunity to go to the same place for lunch or dinner every day, but order a totally different kind of cuisine. Given recent news, it’s seeming like the longstanding market’ll be just an appetizer.
Just this week, an announcement came out that Fifth & Broadway — the new mixed-use development in the works downtown, where the former Nashville Convention Center was — will include a nearly 100,000-square-foot food hall, with 30 food stalls helmed by mostly local chefs, plus cocktail bars, a craft brewery and lots, lots more.
The company behind this project, The Food Hall Co., already has a major food hall under its belt: Legacy Hall in Texas. This Nashville project is expected to be almost double in size (and, I hope/expect, double as good).
It’ll be a while before we get inside to wander and order — Eater Nashville says they don’t expect that downtown Nashville food hall to open until 2020.
Meantime, there’s a similar project already under construction in West Nashville: The Factory Marketplace on Charlotte, due to open this year.
Like the downtown hall, the Marketplace is geared to be a big indoor food extravaganza, with multiple small restaurant concepts packed in with shops and other businesses. This’ll be closer in size to The Food Hall Co.’s Texas flagship — it’s being constructed in the old L&L Restaurant Equipment building, which is about 50,000 square feet.
The developers’ vision: “Locally sourced restaurants, top quality stores and family friendly businesses. It will be a place where our community can come together and spend their time enjoying the best of the best with their families.”
With that historic, restored-factory charm and a location in a fast-growing part of town, the Factory Marketplace is (understandably) drawing a lot of excitement. (You can learn more about the Factory Marketplace here.)
Smaller and more of a “foodie campus,” Hunter’s Station in East Nashville is shaping up to be something that can offer a taste of the food hall concept on the East Side, too, with space for up to nine tenants. Construction is already under way on that one as well (though I haven’t heard an expected opening date yet).
Those might be just the beginning. Eater Nashville also tips to another food hall in the works in Germantown, led in part by Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie, and another from the folks behind New Orleans’ St. Roch Market.
What’s your feeling — excited to see more projects like this coming to Nashville, or do you feel like the Farmers Market is more than enough? I’d love to see your feedback on the TJ Anderson Homes Facebook page.
If you’re so into the idea that you’re inclined to buy a new home near one of these new Nashville food halls, I can definitely help: Call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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