There is absolutely no denying it: food halls are taking the culinary world by storm. And we are 100 percent here for it.
Once only found in big “foodie” cities like New York and Chicago, food halls are popping up in droves across the country. Their growth has been astronomical. According to research from commercial real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield, only 70 of them existed at the end of 2015, and by the end of 2017, there were nearly 120. If the growth continues, the number of food halls will have tripled by 2020. That’s a lot of good eating!
Why are food halls so popular? Well, for starters, they offer dozens of culinary options under one roof so if you’re craving fried chicken and your dining companion wants sushi, no one has to compromise. They also encourage entrepreneurship by promoting local cuisines from home-grown brands that might not have the funds to open a full-fledged restaurant. And finally, they tend to be housed in super-cool repurposed commercial spaces, which makes for plenty of Instagrammable opportunities.
Here in Tampa, where ID Plans is headquartered, the trend is alive and well. Three food halls have opened their doors here over the last two years and they’ve been a huge hit with local residents and tourists alike, proving a welcome addition to the city’s culinary landscape.
Year opened: 2018
Location: Water Street Tampa
Building facts: This is an outdoor space located in the former mixed-use development Channelside Bay Plaza. Once the transformation is complete, it will house 180,000 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of retail space.
The food: Sparkman Wharf currently features nine unique dining concepts – all housed in repurposed shipping containers. You can get everything from burgers to oysters, and there are also a couple of places to grab a drink, including a permanent biergarten located at the center of the wharf. More dining options will be added as the space is developed.
The experience – Unique and relaxed. There are plenty of wide-open spaces to sit and chill with your friends and family (and your four-legged friends) while taking in a view of the port. Play some shuffleboard next to the water or toss some cornhole on the artificial turf lawn – how you spend your day is up to you.
Got any amazing food halls in your town? Send us some pics at email@example.com and we’ll feature them here.
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