Food Hall to Concert Hall

24.02.19 05:52 PM Comment(s)

Serving up Seconds: 

Miami’s Food Hall Hullabaloo a Boon for Live Entertainment

Here it is, folks, a blog that has almost no reference to Detroit. Almost. Today’s topic: food halls. And of course, the way in which food hall vendors can use live entertainmentto their advantage. 


But first, a look back. As a child of the (late) eighties, I am old enough to remember what we once called establishments like these: food courts. It was a quintessentially American suburban thing. Go to the mall with your friends, shop for clothes, buy some CDs, and yes, enjoy a wide variety of mall food classics – bourbon chicken, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and who can forget the caloric classic of the “world famous” Cinnabon. 

Times have sure changed. Like the rest of us, mall food courts have grown up. Now, it’s the food hall craze that’s sweeping the nation from cities like New York and Detroit – Fort Street Galleryfeaturing Mediterranean, Filipino, BBQ and Korean options opened in December (equidistant to the Fort/Cass People Mover station and the Congress Street Q Line stop) – to Miami and Miami Beach. 

While there remains a striking similarity to the 1980s and 90s mall food court – a collection of vendors selling their dishes in a shared enclosed space – the differences are also clear. 


Enjoy a mouth-watering bite of beef kofta kabob at Jaffa in the Design District’s St. Roch Market, or sample a taste of grilled squid at Cake Thai’s Lincoln Eateryin its Miami Beach outpost, taking note of the upscale ambiance at both locales, and you’ll see what I mean. This 2010s/soon-to-be 2020s update is far more luxurious. There’s no mystery meat here. Only high quality options with world-renowned chefs. Like with so many brands today, what’s being promoted isn’t just the product itself, it’s the social experience – the lifestyle add-on. And all of it so perfectly adapted to social media: bite-sized moments of collective fun. It’s also ideal for live entertainment.

From Food Hall to Concert Hall?

It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago when it came to cashing in on this food hall craze Miami was left out in the cold. There was not a single establishment of its kind anywhere in the city. Infected by a massive case of FOMO, (Google it, non-Millennials) Miami and her sister city had some work to do – fast. 


Fast-forward to 2017 and that began to change. 1-800-Lucky, a pan-Asian food hall, opened in the heart of hipster Wynwood. Less than two years later and the complete listlooks like this:


  • La Centrale –Fourteen stations all with an Italian flare greet this Brickell-based

multistory eatery. Prosciutto, wine and gelato are just some of the delicacies.

  • Casa Tua Cucina – If you didn’t get your Italian food fix at La Centrale, then Casa Tua is

your answer. About one block away from La Centrale, 10 food counters feature a host of delectables including great breads, pizza, and more. 

  • St. Roch Market – Located on the upper level of 140 NE 39thSt. in the heart of the Design District, seven vendors ranging from Israeli food and ceviche, to Southern and an oyster bar make this one of Miami’s most diverse dining destinations. 
  • 1-800-Lucky – Backed by the team at Coyo Taco, also in Wynwood, Lucky features Chinese BBQ, Peking Duck, Vietnamese sandwiches, sushi, Poke and ramen. The indoor/outdoor space is walking distance to the center of the Wynwood action and already is known for its music and entertainment atmosphere.
  • The Lincoln Eatery – TheLincoln Eateryoffers 16 fast-casual options in a refurbished space that according to the company’s website: “reflects the fast-paced vibe emerging in Miami Beach’s expanded Lincoln Road district.” Eateries include: The Crafted Burger, Toast & More, Manhattan Paletas, TYO Sushi, and others.
  • Time Out Market – Slated to open next month, Miami Beach will get its second food hall in a matter of months. The Drexel Ave. venuewill feature 17 “food concepts,” and boast some of the 305’s hottest chefs: Scott Linquist, (Coyo), Michael Beltran (Ariete) and Jeremy Ford, of Stubborn Seed.
  • Central Fare –Housed in the city’s new MiamiCentral station, the transit hub for the region’s Brightline inter-city express service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, Central Fareoffers 20 food vendors that will leave you hungry for more. Considering that when MiamiCentral opened to the public last winter the kickoff event included live entertainment,this space is already a step ahead of the competition.
  • Citadel – Officially opened this past weekend (February 16-18) in Miami’s lesser-known Little River neighborhood. At 62,000 square feet, this converted warehouse Citadelis the (current) South Florida king of food hall space. Topped with Vue, the brand’s chic rooftop bar, and you can bet this new gathering spot will attract a crowd eager for live entertainment.

With Dry N Wet is all about the music

In the last few months the team at Dry N Wethas watched these developments unfold with excitement. Few cities in the world can play catch-up so well. To go from zero food halls in 2016 to eight three years later is stunning. (Almost as impressive as Detroit’s downtown turnaround.)

As Miami’s premier live entertainmentand event planning solutions provider, we are eager to connect with these food halls and their vendors in an effort to diversify their entertainment options. Think about how often eating out and sharing a few good drinks with friends includes live entertainment? It’s done so for a simple reason: music, whether it’s a live DJ or a live band, or other options, enhances the culinary experience. It’s also been shown to increase the length of time people stay at a given location. That leaves food hall vendors more opportunities to offer their delicious dishes and to better attract, retain and engage their guests.

Especially in this exciting moment where the Miami food hall scene has suddenly exploded, standing out from this new crowd is even more important. Our exclusive 3-tiered entertainment packagesystem is designed to take the headache and hassle out of the live entertainmentexperience. Just select the DJ you want, determine the music genre that best meets your customers’ needs, and we’ll take care of the rest. As the Director of Account ManagementI am at your full disposal. My colleague, Mario Moreno, is also happy to help. 


So email, call, text, tweet or post your interest in working with us and we’ll be excited to work with you. Bourbon chicken, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and Cinnabon all had their “mall moment.” Who knows if or when our national food hall craze will stall. But for now it seems Miami and its visitors are hungry for more. And so are we!