Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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"Mercado Little Spain is modeled after the mercados in Spain, which are such a central part of Spanish culture and every- day life and are focused much more on gastronomy," says Marisol Plata, product brand director at ThinkFoodGroup. "It's a truly immersive destination for exploring Spain's rich culture, extending well beyond food and drink." Among the offerings are "more than a dozen unique food and retail kiosks, two separate bars, and three full-service restaurants to provide guests a wide array of options whether they're in the mood for a quick bite on the go, a full, sit- down experience, or a place to pick up ingredients to make dinner at home," says Plata. Each station offers something different. At Bravas, visitors can sample spicy fried potatoes; Jamon & Queso serves up cured hams and cheeses. Pasteles is the ice cream and pastry counter, while Cocas is the place to go for f latbread sandwiches. A churros counter is the go-to for this fried- dough street eat. The three restaurants are Lena, Mar (with a focus on Iberian food of the sea), and Spanish Diner, a more casual spot under The High Line, a public park built on a historic freight line. The Vibe at Hudson Yards If the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards has a similar look and feel to the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, it's probably because the destinations share the same developer, Related Companies. Like the Time Warner Center, Hudson Yards' development is a mix of office space, residen- tial towers, and retail, with lots of glass, esca- lators, and marble floors. Also like the Time Warner Center, the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards doesn't wall off the food and beverage offerings into a separate food court, as it is at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, a similarly high-end development with a tony shopping mall. Instead, the shops and markets are interspersed throughout the building's seven stories. Mercado Little Spain occupies a lower-level space accessible via escalator and also a separate entrance on 30th Street. The second f loor is where you'll find The Drug Store and Blue Bottle coffee, as well as Citarella's 10,000-foot market space and adjacent wine and spirits shop. The third and fourth f loors have Jack's Stir Brew Coffee, Shake Shack, family-friendly Hudson Yards Grill, and Queensyard, a U.K. restaurant/ cafe/bar import, among others. The full-service restaurants are on the top f loors. On five is Bouchon Bakery, TAK Room, Kawi, Asian-inspired Wild Ink, and Estiatorio Milos, an upscale Greek space. TAK room also extends to the 6th f loor, and 7 has Neiman Marcus' The Zodiac Room. Placing the full-service eateries on the high f loors makes sense, as it gives diners the opportunity to sip and eat while taking in breathtaking views of the city and the Hudson River. The blend of eclectic offerings with more crowd-pleasing mall staples means visitors will find a spot to eat that suits their tastes. Serving the Neighborhood With the opening of this first Hudson Yards building, New Yorkers continue to debate whether Manhattan's far West Side really needed more high-end apparel stores, let alone an entire luxury development. Yet what this northern Chelsea neighborhood did lack relative to the rest of the city was food hall and restaurant space. Some Hudson Yards food makers and sellers have noticed that local residents are doing their food shopping and dining here, and they're eager to become part of the community. "Before Hudson Yards, there wasn't much of anything in this area, so it's excit- ing to be part of a new destination that's really transforming the city," says Plata, of Mercado Little Spain. Joe Gurrera, who owns Citarella, tells Specialty Food Magazine: "We're catering to four differ- ent markets here: people who work nearby, tourists, catering orders for office workers, and the neighborhood. We've been received with open arms, and neighborhood people say they're happy we're here." Options Still to Come Ultimately, the towering mini-city of Hudson Yards isn't scheduled to be fully open until 2026. As more of the develop- ment opens in stages, new restaurant and food concepts will launch in those build- ings as well, including Maison Kayser in 55 Hudson Yards, an observation deck res- taurant in 30 Hudson Yards, and Cedric's, opened by Danny Meyer at The Shed, Hudson Yards' arts and performance space. Until these new buildings and venues are completed, the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards will have to suffice. Judging by the long lines to get into some of the food spaces (especially Mercado Little Spain) and all the selfie-snapping patrons beside escalators and the public artwork, the venue is winning over curious shoppers and diners. One thing to know: While the vast majority of dining options were open and operating in mid-March, a handful were not planning to be fully functioning until later in the spring. Visitors hoping to expe- rience Hudson Yards while in town for the Summer Fancy Food Show should check the website first. 30 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com store tour PHOTO: LIZ CLAYMAN

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