Well, we know that it is estimated that 25 percent of malls in America will be closing in the next 5 years.... And the only sort of mall type shopping that seems to be popular are these large food court / halls.. So, with America's love of sequels and our loving of riding a fad until it's dead, we are going to be seeing a lot more of these concepts.. I personally feel like Jonathan Butler from The Brooklyn Flea and Shmorgasburg is the grandfather of the revival of this trend.. I also believe he is responsible for help making Brooklyn a World Brand but, i like the guy so maybe I am biased..
I went to Dekalb Market on Friday.. 40 or so vendors in a windowless basement with terrible cell phone receptions (was strangely familiar), long lines, disorganized people, far too few garbage cans and seating... The most iconic or recognizable business would be Katz's Deli. There was a long line of people waiting for corned beef and pastrami.. And you have a clear view of about 5 guys vigorously hand slicing the meat and furiously wrapping up the sandwiches. It makes you wonder and I have wondered why they haven't done this earlier..
There was a handmade dumpling place called Han... They have thick dumplings and a couple of noodle dishes.. I had their mian noodles and was rather underwhelmed.. They were out of scallion noodles, they were out of sauce for the dumplings and I believe napkins too when I was there. Looking forward for Han Dynasty to open and underwhelm us with delivery options..
Bunkr is there but, they only had Bahn Mi's.
We had a chicken sandwich from Wilma Jean, we had a burger from Hard Times Sundae, we walked around a bit... Hard Times Sundae while good, was out of napkins, they were out of bags, which had people coming back and saying they were not allowed to leave without a to go bag.. I ordered my burger with bacon, they forgot it and when i told them, they instead unwrapped the burger and then added a side of bacon to it.. so, it made it very hard to handle the burger.. THen to make things more fun, they had no napkins.. They also didn't have many of the drinks listed.. I was excited to try their lime rickey.. Oh yeh, they were also out of mustard.
I was told that vendors were told 5 days before opening that they would be opening.. There seemed to be a lot of confusion.. I couldn't imagine as, these people had no moment to breath.. They were thrust into a busy mob scene since day one.. They have to be exhausted.. You can see that there is very little storage, so things like napkins, straws, packaging and food all have to fit in the space.... Also, i was told everything has to be away at the end of the night.. So, that leaves even less storage space.. I would not have been surprised if vendors were out of things on the weekend..
I don't know, I wish them well.. It's close to my house and I would love for it to work as it's so close to my house, it's also close to the other sort of food hall/court on the other side of Flatbush Gotham Market and i am sort of close to Bergn too...
At some point it's going to reach a saturation.. My friend asked me to get a space in a new food hall being built by Brooklyn Bridge Park.. I have no interest of even going let alone participating.. And I am sure there will be many more of these things before we all decide, it's not that fun eating averagely made comfort food in a hot basement with no seating and long lines.. I definitely think these concepts are great ways for start up companies or people who don't have the cash to dive into a full time restaurant to get experience, support and find investors.. I think we have seen some good stuff come from these and we have seen some mostly pretty average stuff come from these..
I don't know, i understand the appeal on paper but, it's doesn't end up being as fun as it sounds..