December 10, 2020

Florida Insider – Delray Beach is preparing to open the State’s Largest Food Hall

By Delray Beach is preparing to open the State’s Largest Food Hall

Delray Beach is preparing to open the State’s Largest Food Hall

Delray Beach Market rendering. Courtesy: Menin Development

Opening this upcoming spring, the Delray Beach Market will soon become the largest food hall in the Sunshine State.

Foodies will soon be able to assemble under the $60 million, four-story, 150,00 square-foot mega food hall right off of Atlantic Avenue. Management estimates they can accommodate roughly 2,000 patrons per day, assuming COVID-19 is a limiting factor.

Downtown Delray obviously has a very eclectic food and beverage menu already,” said Jordana Jarjura, president and general counsel for Menin Development, via the Sun-Sentinel. “But if you really dive into it, it’s missing … authentic cuisine, whether it’s ethnic Lebanese or Japanese or Chinese. We also will have healthy quick-serve breakfast. We’re looking forward to be a full service, gathering place, food market.”

The “food hall” trend has become more prominent over the past few years across Florida, taking off in several popular cities such as Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. The problem with most food halls is that they are built-in existing, smaller structures, with individual food vendors and kiosks, and lack a dedicated design space.

Menin, the development group behind the food hall and investors backing the project are hoping to make the Delray Beach Market a “national destination market experience.”

About 25 vendors have already agreed to enter the food hall upon opening.

The project broke ground back in 2017, replacing a vacant apartment building. Menin Development is responsible for other projects in the Delray Beach area such as the boutique Ray Hotel in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove Arts District which is expected to open next summer.

“We’ve been curating vendors for a little more than a year and a half,” says Craig O’Keefe, director of operations and managing partner for Clique Hospitality. “The entire building is surrounded by glass. You’re going to see these chefs hard at work, throwing pizzas or rolling sushi. Every day will be a show for the people making your food.”

Menin Development enlisted Clique Hospitality to help curate the vendors, pop-ups, and manage the food hall, creating a powerhouse collaboration that is sure to bring more eyes to the Delray food hall.

“We want this to be an interactive feast for your eye and a feast for your mouth,” added Jarjura.

Aside from offering food, the venture aims to work with local high schools and universities to provide students with employment and internship opportunities, prospective students are encouraged to apply at the Delray Beach Market website.

The floor plan will be quite open to allow for optimal interaction between the kitchens and visitors and will include a staging area for cooking demonstrations and classes. The building will also feature an outdoor seating area for up to 200 people, collapsible folding glass walls, and an al fresco dining layout.

“We have lots of indoor/outdoor seating and touchless everything,” Jarjura added. “We eliminated seven vendors so we could spread out more. We didn’t know 2021 would bring more distancing or not.”

The Delray Beach Market food hall will be located at 33 SE Third Ave., just south of Atlantic Avenue, and will feature a four-floor, 220-space enclosed parking garage. Between 150-200 jobs are expected to be brought to the region as a result of the project.

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