Urbanspace, the New York City food hall pioneer, opened its long awaited first food hall in Chicago today, September 22, in the Loop at 15 W. Washington. It is the first, new food hall to open in Chicago since the pandemic.
Located at Washington and State, the 12,000 square foot historic space has 12 restaurant vendor booths plus a cocktail bar and beer booth. The vendors are a diverse and eclectic mix including longtime Chicago favorites, neighborhood gems, emerging young food entrepreneurs and a few of the most popular vendors from Urbanspace’s New York City food halls.
To celebrate the opening and welcome office workers and tourists back to the Loop, each Urbanspace vendor will offer a special promotion for diners during the month of October. Urbanspace plans to open its 14,000 square food hall in Catalog at Willis Tower in early 2022.
Both Urbanspace Chicago locations were supposed to open in 2020 but were put on hold due to the pandemic. Most of the original vendor group stayed on board throughout the pandemic. Urbanspace will be open six days a week. Monday-Friday from 7 am to 9:30 pm and on Saturdays from 7 am to 8:30 pm. Urbanspace has new technology in place making it easier for customers to order food. They can use one online platform to order from all the vendors at the food hall at the same time.
“We are very proud to be the first, new food hall to open in Chicago since the pandemic. It has been a challenging time but neither we nor our vendors ever lost faith this day would come,” said Eldon Scott, president of Urbanspace. “We always wanted to be in Chicago because it combines what Urbanspace is all about, creative chefs, spectacular, historic architecture and a great sense of community. Now we are finally here and thrilled to welcome Chicagoans to Urbanspace. We believe now more than ever, there is tremendous demand for great food from real chefs served in a casual but beautiful atmosphere.”
The vendors include the West Loop’s Sushi Dokku, Evanston’s Edzo’s burgers which the Chicago Tribune recently ranked one of the best burgers in the Chicago area and Isla Pilipina, a Jean Banchet Award nominee in 2018 which closed its beloved Lincoln Square restaurant in April of 2020 and newcomers like Bhoomi which opened during the pandemic at The Hatchery. Three Urbanspace food hall favorites from New York City will operate at 15 W. Washington including the iconic Roberta’s which helped pave the way for Brooklyn’s thriving food scene with its wood-fired Neapolitan style pizzas
“A Roberta’s in Chicago has been a longtime coming. The Urbanspace team has been great to work with and we’re excited to open up alongside the other restaurants and give Chicago a taste of Brooklyn,” said co-owner Brandon Hoy.
The full list of vendors includes: Bhoomi, Bianca’s BBQ, Budlong, Edzo's, Footman Hospitality’s Beer Stall and The Peregrine Club (cocktail bar), Happy Lobster, Isla Pilipina, Pita Yeero, Plant Junkie, Roberta's Pizza, Spanglish, Stan’s Donuts and Sushi Dokku.
“Our vendors are all so talented and have been amazingly resilient and positive during the past 18 months. Their food is amazing and the prices are very reasonable. We want to do everything we can to help them succeed and create spectacular, gathering places in the Loop and at Willis Tower for Chicagoans and visitors,” said Gabbie Lenzi Littleton, Chicago operations director.” Since Urbanspace was founded in the 1970’s, its pillars have centered on entrepreneurship, curation, and community, goals which we believe are even more important now as the restaurant industry reinvents itself.” (urbanspacechi.com)