New Loop food hall com­ing this sum­mer

Red Eye Chicago - - Eat&drink - By Nick Kin­delsperger

Chicago’s next down­town food hall fi­nally has a name.

The 10,500-square-foot project, first an­nounced in July, will be called Wells St. Mar­ket. (Though its ad­dress is of­fi­cially 205 W. Wacker Drive, the build­ing sits at the cor­ner of Wacker Drive and Wells Street.)

“Names are tough,” said Michael Marsal, founder of Al­varez & Marsal Prop­erty In­vest­ments (AMPI), which is part­ner­ing with Amer­i­tus Real Es­tate In­vest­ment Man­age­ment for the project. But to him, high­light­ing the build­ing’s lo­ca­tion was key. The north­ern part of the Loop doesn’t have many ap­proach­able restau­rants, he said; he in­tends for the ven­dors at Wells St. Mar­ket to fix that prob­lem.

As for who those ven­dors will be, that’s TBA. All Marsal will re­veal right now is that there will be at least eight food stalls, with a mix of lo­cal and na­tional names.

“We have a ma­jor New York-based food name that is a ten­ant, and we also have a true Chicago up­start that has never had a per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion,” he said.

For in­te­rior de­sign, Marsal snagged Karen Herold of Stu­dio K, who has de­signed some of the most sleek restau­rants in town, in­clud­ing Girl & the Goat, Balena, Maple & Ash and GT Fish & Oys­ter.

Herold is still work­ing on the look of the hall, but Marsal was able to share ren­der­ings for the ex­te­rior re­model, which is be­ing over­seen by lo­cal ar­chi­tec­ture firm Ho­labird & Root.

“We wanted to breathe new life into the street,” Marsal said. “Like many of the build­ings along Wacker, [this one] was re­skinned in the ’80s with mar­ble. We’re re­mov­ing that, so it looks a lit­tle more clas­sic and re­fined.”

That’s just the be­gin­ning. Ho­labird will add new en­trances and floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, which can be opened dur­ing the warmer months.

Ex­pect Wells St. Mar­ket to open in late sum­mer.

Wells St. en­trance

View from across the river of Wells St. Mar­ket

View along Wacker Drive

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