Paris has them. New York City has a spate of them. And now, Toronto will have them, too.
Food halls, those large, indoor markets chocked with local restaurants and boutiques offering gourmet groceries, have steadily grown in popularity and presence, out-shining conventional food court fare and offering more character than a trip to the store. Slated to officially open by the end of 2017 (though soft-opened as of early December), Toronto’s anticipated Assembly Chef’s Hall is an 18,000-square-foot market at 111 Richmond Street West.
Financial District denizens will now share a neighbourhood with numerous GTA-based, independent food purveyors, as well as a 205-seat beer hall. There are plans to include an additional outdoor patio set to open next summer. The current roster of involved chefs includes Nick Liu of DaiLo, Elia Herrera of Los Colibris, Amira Becarevic (formerly of Colette Grand Café) with her new, health-conscious concept Mira Mira, and Paul Marshall of Love Chix. From locally roasted coffee to Japanese ramen, Andreas Antoniou (the developer behind the project) is offering what he deems a “best in class” roster that will serve diners seven days a week.
“We live in such a big city, with a lot of amazing food concepts,” says Marshall, Love Chix’s chef and owner. “To be able to put a lot of that under one roof just makes sense, especially when big groups of people are given the opportunity to choose a variety of great food in a casual, fun environment.” Having a licensed space where beer halls and wine bars live side by side with elevated food offerings is, according to Marshall, a win-win.
During the day, Marshall predicts office workers and tourists will populate the space. Evenings, he says, are expected to be a completely different entity: “The idea that we can put on live events, and custom themed nights, in addition to being a great place to watch some great local sports, will be interesting to get a handle on.”
Never miss a story, sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter, here.