February 23, 2021

The Palm Beach Post – Delray Beach Market: Here’s what to expect at the mega food hall coming to downtown Delray

By Delray Beach Market: Here’s what to expect at the mega food hall coming to downtown Delray

Delray Beach Market: Here’s what to expect at the mega food hall coming to downtown Delray

The food hall vendor lineup offers a mix of flavors and options.

Liz Balmaseda

Palm Beach Post
An artist's rendering of the upcoming Delray Beach Market, which is expected to open in downtown Delray this spring. MENIN

Remember that big Delray Beach food hall that’s been in the works for a few years? Project developers say it will be a reality as soon as spring.

More specifically, they could open the Delray Beach Market as soon as the end of March, says Jordana Jarjura, president and general counsel for Menin, the development company behind the Delray Beach Market food hall as well as other high-profile real estate projects in the area, like the upcoming Pineapple Grove boutique hotel The Ray.

Boasting 150,000 square feet of space and four levels, the $60 million food hall building is touted as Florida’s largest. With 60,000 of those square feet devoted to its hospitality vendors, the food hall will make its debut at 33 SE Third Ave., just off downtown Delray’s Atlantic Avenue dining district.

More openings:A guide to Palm Beach County’s newest restaurants

Here are some highlights of what to expect at the market:

A mix of vendors

The food hall, which boasts three full-service bars, will be home to a diverse batch of 25 fixed vendors and several smaller, more temporary kiosks.

This means a Delray presence for some smaller concepts that might not otherwise be able to afford prime, Atlantic Ave-area prices. It also means the downtown Delray crowd can sample the cooking of some out-of-area concepts like Tiffin Box, the fast-casual Indian spot in West Palm Beach by chef/entrepreneur Anesh Bodasing.

Anesh Bodasing owns Tiffin Box, a West Palm Beach concept that offers fast-casual Indian food. He will open a vendor stall at the upcoming Delray Beach Market food hall. WILKINE BRUTUS/PALM BEACH POST

“We have a very eclectic mix of vendors, personalities and experiences. Some of the vendors have never run a brick-and-mortar,” says Craig O’Keefe, partner at Clique Hospitality, which is not only securing and onboarding the vendors but also managing the food hall itself.

(See a sampling of the coming vendors at the end of this story.)

Aside from those fixed vendors, market planners hope to offer an incubator space for smaller food concepts, says Menin’s Jordana Jarjura.

“It would be a great opportunity,” she says.

On the menu at Dad's Favorite Burgers: diner classics like smash-burgers and pies. SAMUEL THORNHILL/MAS APPETIT

Safety precautions

The place is designed for the times -- the pandemic times.

“The silver lining is we didn’t have to make a lot of design changes for COVID,” says Jarjura.

She says the scale and design of the building is on point because it is fitted with garage-style doors, an indoor/outdoor mezzanine and al fresco dining areas.

“And we’re in the process of working with the city to expand the outdoor use area,” she says.

With safety and social distancing in mind, the developer eliminated seven of the originally planned 32 permanent vendor stalls.

“We wanted to give more separation to the interior tables,” she said. “We were also able to beef up our outdoor dining areas.”

The Delray Beach Market's mezzanine level features a chef's kitchen for cooking demos, classes and other events. With doors and windows that open to create an indoor/outdoor space, "The Mezz" aims to be a community hub. MENIN/rendering

'The Mezz,' an interactive mezzanine

There’s a camera-ready chef’s kitchen on the market’s 5,000-square-foot mezzanine level. This is where food hall organizers hope to stage chef demos, cooking classes, live music nights and other social events.

“It will be a great space to do private events as well,” says O’Keefe of Clique says of the  mezzanine space dubbed The Mezz.

An artist's rendering of a lounge area at the upcoming Delray Beach Market. Menin

With its indoor/outdoor features, project developers are looking to that mezzanine kitchen as a spark to power a community hub.

“We want it to be an epicenter for art and entertainment, surrounded by food, interactive and a feast for the eyes,” says Jarjura. “We want it to be very family-friendly and interactive.”

The Delray Beach Market will offer three full-service bars. MENIN

Multi-stop shopping, one check

You can order for as many vendors as you’d like and pay for your items on one check.

“Let’s say you’re there with your family and your kids want a burger and you want sushi and your husband wants vegan -- you can order on your app and it would be delivered at the same time,” says Jarjura.

The same applies to takeout and delivery meals. For takeout, you place your order -- including orders from multiple vendors -- with the food hall’s concierge and pay it on one combined check.

“We have a very easy, customer-friendly takeout program,” says Jarjura.

Plus, the food hall’s retail vendors make it possible to assemble all the components for your last-minute dinner party back home, says Jarjura.

Chef Jimmy Everett, who brought Driftwood comfort-food restaurant to Boynton Beach in early 2017, will open a pasta concept called Sorella's at the upcoming Delray Beach Market food hall. PIPER JONES

Plenty of parking

Parking and traffic flow shouldn’t be a problem, says Jarjura.

To handle the flow of cars, the food hall has a designated, four-level parking garage with capacity for 220 vehicles.

To handle the flow of people, the food hall will have multiple entrances and a strategy to avoid “clustering,” says Jarjura.

“We are trying to group the breakfast places together and the later night places together,” she says, “So if you’re running in for a quick cup of coffee, you can do so easily.”

The specialty dish at County Line Southern Fried Chicken, which is expected to open at the Delray Beach Market this spring. MENIN

A sampling of the food hall vendors

County Line Southern Fried Chicken, a concept by Chef Steven Devito. The main attraction here is the crispy chicken that’s been brined for 36 hours, dusted in stone-ground flour and deep-fried.

Dad’s Favorite Burgers, a riff on diner-style burgers by Chef Daniel Diaz, a self-proclaimed fan of “all things Americana.” In addition to classic smash-style burgers served on brioche buns, the menu offers patty melts, BLTs, grilled cheese sandwiches, griddled hot dogs, twisty Sidewinder fries, plus milkshakes, malts and retro pies.

A patty melt at Dad's Favorite Burgers, a diner-inspired stand coming to the Delray Beach Market. SAMUEL THORNHILL/MAS APPETIT

Surrey Co. Smoke House, a barbecue spot inspired by the wood-smoked meats of Surry County, Virginia. Dishes here will include 18-hour smoked brisket, mesquite-smoked colossal shrimp, smoked chicken and Southern-style sides.

Tekka Bar, a sushi-and-sake bar with Vegas roots and a fleeting west coast location which closed abruptly less than six months after it debuted in Portland, OR. Expect a variety of handrolls and what the market calls “an eclectic sake program.”

Freshly caught vermillion snapper from Ft. Pierce is displayed by Third Wind Seafood during a local vendors' meet-and-greet at The Breakers in November 2019. Third Wind will supply and operate the Tip to Tail food stand at the upcoming Delray Beach Market food hall. DAMON HIGGINS/PALM BEACH POST

Tip to Tail, a fish-centric spot supplied and operated by Boca Raton-based wholesaler Third Wind Seafood. Expect dishes featuring fresh-catch options -- like local snapper ceviche, Key West shrimp cocktail, seasonal stone crabs and more.

Roots, a vegan concept by local executive chef Jessie Steele (formerly of Dada and Death or Glory). Steele’s menu will focus on a dozen scratch-made dishes, all prepared onsite. Not a fan of the processed faux-meat, he opts for natural ingredients for riffing on comfort classics like Reuben sandwiches, which he stacks with cured jackfruit and homemade Thousand Island dressing.

Salvo’s Pizzeria, a Sicilian-by-way-of-New-York concept serving a variety of pizza (including Sicilian sliced and New York style), hot panini, salads and appetizers.

At Sorella's, local chef Jimmy Everett will offer a variety of homemade pasta dishes.

Sorella’s, a build-your-own-pasta spot by creative local chef Jimmy Everett of Driftwood, a comfort-food favorite in Boynton Beach. Everett’s food hall menu will feature handmade pasta and a retail pantry stocked with sauces, take-away meals and foods by the pound.

Tiffin Box, a fast-casual, Indian-American spot with an original location in West Palm Beach. (Think Chipotle-style DIY bowls with Indian spices and ingredients.)

A napkin dispenser at Tiffin Box's West Palm Beach location features India's ubiquitous dabbawalas, the lunch delivery service that takes tiffin-boxed meals to workers.

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IncrediBowl, a DIY-bowl spot offering a range of healthy bases (think sesame noodles, cauli rice, mixed greens), proteins (like grass-fed beef, Florida shrimp and organic tofu) and toppings (pickled onions, roasted potatoes, buttered carrots), plus add-ons and sauces. If you’d rather leave the DIY-ing to them, you can choose any of the signature bowls, like the Yummy Shrimp Bowl.

Big T’s, a family-run deli boasting more than 50 types of meats and cheeses. The menu also includes dishes like pasta e fagioli soup, hearty meatballs and brined beef tongue.

Funky offerings at Bona Bona, an ice cream shop coming to the Delray Beach Market this spring. MENIN

Bona Bona, a funky ice cream shop with unique toppings like brûléed meringue.

Delray Craft and Alpine 210, a local craft beer bar by the food hall’s management company, Clique. The pub is attached to an old-timey, sausage-making kitchen inspired by the Alpine 210 butcher shop once owned by Clique founder Andy Masi’s father. This is the spot in the market where you can enjoy a classic Polish kielbasa, or maybe a brat, with an amber ale, a lager or the brew of your whims.

Ferdos is a Middle Eastern-inspired concept coming to the Delray Beach Market. FERDOS

Ferdos Grill, a Middle Eastern concept that’s an outpost of a casual, Fort Lauderdale restaurant. Iserving kebabs, fried kibbeh, gyros and other street-food favorites.

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