The food court inside the upcoming office building at Clark and Adams streets could be used as a laboratory for chefs testing out new concepts.
That experimental aspect is one of the features that Blue Star Properties hope will make The Marketplace in The National far from a "generic" food court. Developer Craig Golden will once again partner with Bruce Finkelman, this time on the ground floor of the former Commercial National Bank of Chicago building at 125 S. Clark St. Finkelman will concentrate on the restaurant side of the project, as he's worked with Golden on spots including Longman & Eagle, Thalia Hall and The Promontory. They're shooting to open the office building and food court in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The Marketplace claims inspiration from food markets such as Eataly, as well as Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market in New York. The fast-casual food court will include 10 food stalls, and management hopes to attract local chefs to operate them and give Loop workers a variety of lunch choices during the week. Longman & Eagle founding partner chef Jared Wentworth has already committed to the project, which also includes an artisanal coffee shop.
One of those 10 stalls will be reserved for a food truck's staff. This will allow that staff to prepare and serve food to Marketplace patrons. The food truck stall would rotate, giving patrons a new choice every month. The Marketplace will also include space so patrons could eat their lunches procured outside from food trucks lined up along Clark Street.
The 20-story building is also the former headquarters for Chicago Public Schools and takes up about 507,920 square feet. Blue Star hopes to fill the space with 5,000 office workers, which will provide a solid customer base for Marketplace chefs.