By Amelia Rayno - Star Tribune
When John and Patricia Wall travel around the country and beyond, they make a point of stopping at any urban food halls they find.
In 2015, the pair of real estate and commercial developers were in Vancouver's Granville Island Public Market when Patricia wondered aloud, "Why don't we have one of these?"
Now, two years later, they're answering that question by creating Malcolm Yards Market (malcolmyardsmarket.com), slated to open in fall of 2018.
The project which will find its home in the former Harris Machinery Co. building at 501 30th Av. SE. near the Surly Brewery Co. (520 Malcolm Av. SE., surlybrewing.com), will center around restaurants and bars rather than other produce and shopping vendors.
Buoyed by a $500,000 grant from Hennepin County and the state, the food hall will include at least one full service restaurant as an anchor tenant and a rectangular bar in the middle of the 16,500-square-foot space, which Du Nord Craft Spirits (dunordcraftspirits.com) will operate.
All other eight to 10 vendors remain under wraps, although Patricia said she has come to tentative agreements with 20 chefs and restaurateurs serving up everything from burgers, tacos and wood-fired pizzas to curries, ramen and poke bowls. Because the Walls are looking for options that aren't available in the area, some of the offerings will include new concepts from familiar names.
"We really want a variety of gourmet fast food," she said. "Dishes that are high-end, challenging, creative and very fresh."
The hope, as the Walls attempt to rewrite a liquor license amendment, is that patrons will be able to grab a drink at the center bar and stroll around to the various vendors, beer or cocktail in hand.
As the law currently stands, any drinks would have to remain in the center bar area.
The Walls also intend to construct a greenway from the nearby Prospect Park stop on the light rail's Green Line, which would connect the market and continue towards Surly.
For the market, the Walls plan to have exterior walls near the patio dining area painted and repainted periodically by local artists.
"We want to give people many reasons to come," she said. "This should just be a fun place to go, to grab a drink, to get a bite and hang out."