Eater — a national network of blogs covering restaurants, bars and nightlife — recently featured the growing food hall boom.
After popping up in trend-setting Los Angeles and New York, nearly a dozen more are scheduled to open in the next two years in such metropolitan area as Austin, Dallas, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Birmingham, Ala. Eater says some are fancy food courts while others have more of a market feel with retail components, but all “rely heavily on local chefs and food artisans to create communal drinking and dining spaces.”
Lenexa plans one of its own.
The Lenexa Public Market is scheduled to open in mid-2017 inside Lenexa City Hall, which will be at the Lenexa City Center at 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard.
The 8,750-square-foot, year-round market will have owner-operated businesses featuring fresh foods and locally sourced products. Possible tenants could include artisanal and specialty food makers, a tap room, coffee roaster, butcher and textile and goods makers.
It will have a test kitchen that can seat up to 50 people for cooking demonstrations, outdoor seating and an outdoor public plaza area with stage, access to a 40-person conference room and free parking on the street or in a 500-stall garage.
It will be open daily from about 6 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. and tenants could have variable hours within that time frame.
Mike Nolan, assistant to the Lenexa city administrator, said it is designed to be a place where the community can gather and also where local businesses can sell their products.
Cacao Restaurante opens in Prairie Village
Ivan Marquez is not only setting his new Prairie Village restaurant apart from its longtime predecessor, Kokopelli Mexican Cantina, but also from his popular Frida’s Contemporary Mexican Cuisine in Overland Park.
Marquez is a partner in the new Cacoa Restaurante with Victor Esqueda and his nephew, Alfonso Esqueda.
“This is much more casual and affordable. (Cuisine) from the streets and markets of Mexico,” Marquez said.
The partners have spent the last few months renovating and brightening the space at 5200 W. 95th St. with a palette of turquoise, white and gray.
Menu items include Pollo Miel (chicken filled with goat cheese and honey sauce, served with rice and grilled vegetables) and Birria (pork shank in Birria sauce with marinated red onions and salsa and served with refried beans and corn tortillas). Other menu items include soups, salads, tacos, burritos, tortas and entrees like chile relleno, glazed salmon and shrimp fettuccine.
It also offers fresh juices — including carrot, orange and ginger apple; strawberry and mint; and a daily juice special.
The locally owned Kokopelli closed in fall 2014 after a decade of operations.