Several new vendors have signed on to become part of the Delray Beach Market, the large-scale food hall its creators claim is the largest of its kind to break ground in Florida.
The new additions will join the vendors that were already set to welcome guests when the market launches this spring. They include a variety of options, from a vegan restaurant helmed by a local chef to a fish market, a deli, and a create-your-own noodle- or salad-bowl counter.
When it opens in April, the four-story, 150,000-square-foot food hall will offer about two dozen individually curated vendors with options that span breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, as well a beverage program. The market will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Construction on the food hall began in November 2019, two years after Menin Development and Las Vegas-based Clique Hospitality announced the project, which is located a half-block south of Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach.
Modeled after larger, more comprehensive European food markets, the Delray Beach Market has been designed to offer more than just another place to grab a quick bite. Menin sees the project as a community center and has included spaces for curated art exhibits, live-music performances, educational workshops, and other events.
"This is so much more than a food hall. We're are looking to this as a destination not only for Delray Beach, but all of South Florida," Jordana Jarjura, president and general counsel for Menin Development, tells New Times. "We envision it to be more of a lifestyle experience and a place where people can come together that combines the best in food, art, and entertainment."
Once completed, the hall will host a mixture of startups along with offshoots of brick-and-mortar concepts. Once COVID-19 dining restrictions ease, there will be space for up to 50 vendors. For now, design measures include socially distanced vendors, touchless restrooms, collapsible nano-walls that can create open-air spaces on the mezzanine level, an AC system with enhanced filtration, and outdoor seating for 200 along with the socially distanced indoor seating.
According to Clique Hospitality CEO and founder Andy Masi, whose team will manage the facility, the food-hall aspect will set itself apart from other area markets thanks to its focus on new concepts from local and up-and-coming chefs.
"The Delray Beach Market will serve to showcase the South Florida food scene with its focus on locally-based specialty food purveyors, chefs, and creative food incubators designed to help new concepts take foot in the community," Masi says.
"Right now, downtown Delray Beach is missing that eclectic, authentic cuisine experience," Jajura adds. "This allows smaller operations to be a part of the action that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford the rents on Atlantic Avenue."
One future tenant, IncrediBowl, will offer customizable bowls with a focus on health, flavor, and fresh ingredients. Diners can pick a base from a list that includes sesame noodles, mixed greens, brown rice, and cauliflower rice, then add a meat or vegetables along with toppings such as pickled onions, marinated tomatoes, and roasted mushrooms. Signature bowls will include the "Asian Hipster," which pairs sweet and smoky tofu with cauliflower rice, herbed carrots, black pepper broccoli, pickled onions, and honey Dijon dressing.
Big T's Deli, a family-run delicatessen owned by New York restaurateur and former radio personality Tony "Big T" Gervasi, will offer over 50 kinds of cured meats, as well as cheeses from around the world, bagels and pickles flown in from New York City, bread from Philadelphia, and New Jersey-style pork roll from Trenton's Case Pork Roll Co.
Tip to Tail, the in-house seafood market, will be operated by Boca Raton-based Third Wind Seafood. The local day-boat wholesaler will launch its take on a truly local seafood restaurant. Menu items will include Florida lobster rolls, a local snapper ceviche, conch salad, and a Key West shrimp cocktail. For a true market experience, diners can also purchase fresh fish to take home.
With a menu developed by executive chef Jessie Steele — who cut his chops at renowned local restaurants such as 3rd & 3rd, Dada, and Death or Glory — Roots will offer a vegan menu. Steele says the restaurant will keep its menu short: a dozen items, each entirely plant-based and made in-house. The chef won't use faux meat products or other highly processed ingredients. Examples: veggie burgers made fresh from scratch; black-bean nachos with Chao cheese and a house-made cashew sour cream; Buffalo cauliflower breaded with rice flour and tossed in a house-made dairy-free blue cheese-style dressing; and a Reuben made with cured jackfruit and house-made thousand island dressing.
Other concepts include Sorella's, a handmade pasta house helmed by Florida native Jimmy Everett, who has experience in high-end kitchens including Marea (New York City) and Al Molo (Hong Kong); Bona Bona, a boozy ice cream shop; Tekka Bar, offering hand rolls and sake courtesy of Las Vegas restaurateurs Takashi Segawa & Oliver Wharton; and Tiffin Box, which will offer foods from different regions of India.
Delray Beach Market will also house Nomad, a family-owned and operated surf shop established in 1968.
Delray Beach Market. 33 SE Third Ave., Delray Beach; delraybeachmarket.com. Opening April 2021.