New Food Hall Will Open Inside Metropolitan Square Building
St. Louis, MO/June 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – One of the most interesting developments to come about with the rise of the shopping mall in the 1980s was the mall food court. These vast eateries offer shoppers many different restaurants to choose from, usually ringing a dining area that can accommodate hundreds of diners at a time. The busting, counter-service-only food courts still exist today, having become an expected feature of indoor shopping malls. But what if you could have the food court, with better food and without the mall? Visitors to downtown St. Louis soon will, when a “food hall” opens at the Metropolitan Square Building.
The new food hall will be called The Eatery. The building’s owners, property management firm JLL, is investing $2.5 million dollars in the project. They are renovating a common space and former restaurant on the ground floor of the office skyscraper to create the new food hall. The design, created by Nehring Design of St. Louis, calls for a fresh, modern interior space with a connecting 1,000-square foot outdoor patio. Construction will begin this month (June 2017) and should be finished in time for a grand opening this fall.
The food hall at One Metropolitan Square will be the first food court-esque eatery in downtown St. Louis outside of a mall environment. (Food courts were original features of both St. Louis Union Station and the long-shuttered St. Louis Centre.) Unlike the mall food court, which were fast food-laden centers intended as a quick recharge for shoppers rather than destination dining, food halls—including plans for The Eatery—offer a wide variety of well-prepared, high-quality fare that is interesting and enticing enough to draw diners in just for a meal. JLL officials have confirmed that several restaurant tenants have already signed on to The Eatery, including Arista Gourmet Salads & Flatbreads, Dino’s Deli, and Kimcheese Asian Fusion. The company says they’re in negotiations with additional restaurant vendors, and expect to announce new tenants “in the near future.”
JLL Senior Vice President of Retail Brokerage Rick Spector calls the development exciting. Spector says he believes The Eatery will become a downtown gathering place. “This is going to be a fun, exciting place where people not only gather for great food, but also come to socialize when downtown,” he said. “We are excited about how The Eatery is going to highlight all of our new restaurateurs.”
One Metropolitan Square occupies a full city block along North Broadway between Pine and Olive Streets. Known as Met Square, construction of the 42-story skyscraper was completed in 1989. It is currently the tallest building in the City of St. Louis.