Miami Food Halls Opening Soon: Time Out Market, St. Roch Market, La Centrale, and Others

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Inside La Centrale, the Carne Italian restaurant, inspired by the rustic Chianti décor, houses a butcher’s shop.

Courtesy of La Centrale

Jacopo Giustiniani takes an adobe from a pile and points to a vaulted ceiling. “These are the same tiles that were used to reconstruct Brunelleschi’s dome on the Florence Duomo,” he says, referring to the main 13th-century church of Florence in Italy. Then the slim 37-year-old, dressed in a white shirt and faded jeans, gestures across the room and tries to be heard at the noises of hammering, drilling and welding. He tucks a stray black lock behind his ear and points to a scaffolding worker who laboriously cemented every stone by hand.

That’s the processing of La Centrale, a huge, three-story food hall in Brickell City Center that brings the sights, sounds, and tastes of Italy to Miami. The 40,000-square-foot project will house 14 dining areas and marketplaces, including an espresso bar, cocktail bar, wine cave, and mini-restaurants ranging from takeout to fine dining.

It will take about seven years for the $ 30 million investment to be amortized, says Giustiniani, who, together with co-managing director Matthias Kiehm, is planning to expand La Centrale to other cities. “The idea is not to make money with it, but to open a few,” says Giustiniani. He sees food halls as the next step in the development of shopping malls. “Everyone can now shop on their cell phone. There are around 2,000 malls that are suffering, and developers need to replenish that square footage.”

“People are looking for a certain quality [and] want to support local companies. “

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When it opens in early 2018, La Centrale will be the first of at least half a dozen food halls under construction in Miami-Dade. Some of the others are the Time Out Market in South Beach, St. Roch Market in the Design District, and the Citadel in Little River. It’s a risky business. Success depends on many factors including location, business acumen, and luck. It remains to be seen whether Miami’s economy and palate will accept the food hall concept. This horse race is likely to have few winners.

Food halls are not empty airport-style food courts. They serve dishes prepared by experienced chefs and presented on real china. Centralized bars serve craft beer and smart cocktails and coffee roasters hold cupping sessions.

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St. Roch Market

Photo by William Rush Jagoe V

The beauty of the Food Hall is the choice. If you want oysters and your friend craves brisket, you can both fill yourself up. The concept has a long history. At Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Chelsea Market in New York, and Pike Place Market in Seattle, locals and visitors have long been shopping for fresh produce and eating it in a vibrant, communal setting. The catalyst for the contemporary food hall movement could be the Eataly of the Italian businessman Oscar Farinetti, which debuted in Turin in early 2007. Three years later, Eataly opened New York City in partnership with celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich. The 50,000-square-foot New York eatery was hugged by diners who sometimes waited for hours for an opportunity to buy pasta, eat wood-fired pizza, and buy produce from a “vegetable butcher”. Today Eataly has offices in Boston, Chicago and New York as well as an online market.

The food hall trend has recently spread to smaller cities as well. Last year, the Stanley Marketplace opened with over 50 vendors in Aurora, Colorado. A converted body shop in Baltimore became R. House, where ten chefs served gourmet dishes. And the culinary superstar Anthony Bourdain is planning to open his very own Food Hall with an Asian night market theme in New York City.

Located in Miami’s Design District, St. Roch Market (Palm Court, 140 NE 39th St., Miami), partner Will Donaldson says the 10,000 square foot concept will capture the market for affordable restaurants in the Tony area with no compromise on quality. “I would like to offer budding line and sous chefs a chance,” he says.

Donaldson and his business partner Barre Tanguis operate a St. Roch in New Orleans. There they took over a market from 1875 that was damaged by a flood in 2005. The 12 vendor Miami market will mix some of the things that work in NOLA – coffee, salad, a raw food bar, and beverage program – with local chefs in the remaining squares. “If you want to open a restaurant on the beach, you have to invest $ 3 million,” says Donaldson. “There are very few people who can scrape together the capital for it.”

St. Roch attracts some interesting concepts, including Yaniv Cohen’s Jaffa, which serves Israeli cuisine; Sabal coffee; and Coop, a place for fried chicken. Award-winning bartender Derek Brumfield also joins the list with Mayhaw, a liquor bar that specializes in classic cocktails.

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Time Out Market Rendering - Courtesy of Time Out Market

Time out market rendering

Courtesy Time Out Market

Donaldson says a chef who wants to go to St. Roch would have to invest about $ 20,000. “We take the financial risk off and give the chef a real eating environment… It’s the magic of the Food Hall. We don’t chase the trend. We use the trend. ”

The Citadel (8300 NE Second Ave., Miami) could be the biggest gamble in Miami’s Food Hall lineup. The 10,000 square foot venue is being developed by Conway Urban Real Estate and the Urban Atlantic Group. It has a promising lineup of tenants including omakase sushi master Myumi and Cake Thai, but it’s in an area that doesn’t need upgrading just yet. This market, unlike those in South Beach and Brickell, will rely heavily on residents from nearby communities like Miami Shores and El Portal.

Partner Nick Hamann, a commercial real estate investor with engineering and law degrees, believes if he builds it they will come. “Even if you don’t know what you want, come in and have something amazing,” he says.

Hamann wants to occupy all 17 rental spaces with locals. “We are specifically looking for operators who have already done this on site,” he says, adding that the Citadel will be a culinary incubator after it opens in 2018. “People are looking for a certain quality [and] want to support local companies. ”

Hamann and his partners also own the building opposite, which serves as a culture, art and work space. “We feel we have enough critical mass that once the citadel is delivered, people will be targeted,” he says. With a radio station slated to move into the neighborhood and Sherwood’s Restaurant & Bar nearby, the area has seen a surge in pedestrian traffic. “We talk about it, and we create – or at least emphasize – the goal,” he says.

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Wine shop

Courtesy of La Centrale

On Lincoln Road in South Beach, dominated by major retailers like Apple and Lululemon, Time Out Market (1601 Drexel Ave., Miami Beach) will debut sometime in 2018. So far, heavyweights like Michael Pirolo, Jose Mendin, Coyo Taco, Wynwood Beer and Brew Spot Kush, Jugofresh and Paradigm Kitchen have signed up for one of 17 rotating spots in the 17,474-square-foot Food Hall and Market. Cooks don’t have to spend money to get started. The market offers cooking areas, communal dining areas and the added attractions of local art and three cocktail bars; in return, it will share the restaurants’ profits.

The market will join Time Out, part of a national group of travel guides and magazines that the restaurants and chefs will curate. The first Time Out Market opened in Lisbon in 2014. A conditional lease has been signed for a location in London, and one is due to open in Boston in 2019.

At the Brickell City Center, Giustiniani explains that La Centrale was originally slated to debut in Bloomingdale’s flagship in New York City, but then saw the room in the Brickell City Center and knew La Centrale should be there.

Giustiniani did everything possible to move to Miami with his wife and children in April to find out about the city’s culinary temperatures. “I think one of the main mistakes developers make is that Miami is not New York or London,” he says. “Compared to Miami, New York is easy. You get a three-star rating from the New York Times, and you have a start. In Miami it can take years, but if you get into the community and they choose you, it can.” function.”

The food hall entrepreneur admits this is his biggest project, but he’s ready to wait and see. “Developers have invested billions of dollars in Miami. You have to have the shoulder and the patience to pull this off.”

Giustiniani walks through the almost complete halls of La Centrale, inspecting Italian marble destined to line the market’s aperitivo bar. “I think there are roughly 4.5 million people in Miami,” he says to himself. “If I can get just 10 percent to come to La Centrale, I would be very happy. Besides, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

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