By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Foodies may have a new place to converge on in downtown Delray Beach as soon as next summer.
Delray Beach-based Menin Development has proposed Delray City Market, a food hall, market and community event space located on Southeast 3rd Ave., just a half block south of Atlantic Avenue.
Food halls have been popping up throughout the country as culinary destinations and South Florida is no exception. Miami is home to several like La Centrale and Casa Tua Cucina and West Palm Beach is now home to Grandview Public Market. Now, there will be one in between in downtown Delray.
The idea is to construct a four-story building that will hold 30 food stalls about 400 square-feet each for local and regional food partners and chefs on the ground floor.
“What we are looking to do is bring in the best-in-class food purveyor in each specific category
to make the market itself feel and look like a very unique and authentic place,” said Menin partner Marc Yavinsky. “What we want to provide is individual, unique experiences as you walk through the food hall where it’s sensory overload. You can smell the baker, you can smell the pizza, you can see a great local craft beer.”
The ground floor market will have 25 foot ceilings and fill 30,000-square-feet. There will be group tables, high tops, areas to stand and eat snacks and a lot of gathering space, Yavinsky said.
Above the food hall there will be a parking garage with about 200 parking spaces and an event space on the roof. He said plans were set to go to the city for review last month.
The food hall site was slated to be The Metropolitan, which was approved to house 48 luxury condos.
Delray Planning and Zoning Director Tim Stillings said those plans would be scrapped and this project would have to be submitted to the city as a new proposal and go through the city’s approval process.
Menin purchased the property in December and Yavinsky said they evaluated what they thought would be the best use for the site.
They decided building on the food and beverage economy that Delray has was the way to go.
“Every still will be different and unique and have its own sense and place,” he said.
Part of the idea for the food hall is to help chefs that don’t have the money to open a restaurant to be able to cook and show off their culinary skills for a fraction of the cost, Yavinsky said.
He said you won’t see any national chains in the food hall. They plan to stick to local and regional chefs.
“In this town, it’s a couple million dollars to open a restaurant,” he said. “We are going to be very selective and for the right people it will be a fraction of that.”
The project will be designed by Miami-based Gonzalez Architects. The goal is to open by summer 2019, he said.
“We just want to bring something to the town that everyone is going to love and be proud of,” he said.