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Packing District Food Hall To Open This Weekend With 9 Vendors

05/24/2024 11:23 AM | Debbie Colangelo-Admin (Administrator)

It’s been “all hands on deck” for the last few weeks at The Great Southern Box Company Food Hall as the developer and the vendors prep for their soft opening this weekend in Orlando’s Packing District.

The food hall at 2105 N. Orange Blossom Trail opens to the public Friday with nine of the 11 vendor spots serving everything from chicken shawarma, to Picanha steak, to Oreo-cheesecake brownies, to some of Orlando’s best Neapolitan-style pizza.

Paul Jacques, chef and owner of Antica Wood Fired Pizza, spent most of the week curing the new pizza oven and fermenting the dough before knocking out the first four pies. 

As a two-time Foodie award winner, Antica holds itself to a high standard. Not to mention, Dr. Phillips Charities CEO Ken Robinson will tell anyone who asks, it’s “maybe one of the best pizza places you’ll find anywhere.” He personally recruited Jacques and his partner, Kevin Turner, to the food hall.

“I’d like to think it took a lot of convincing, but the property sells itself,” Robinson said. “And so when people come and see it, they understand the vision. They understand Dr. Phillips commitment to the vision, then they’re quick to sign on board. And we’re excited to have each and every one of them.”

As master developer of The 202-acre Packing District, Robinson worked closely with Chef Akhtar Nawab and his group, Hospitality HQ (HHQ), to curate a variety of vendors with menus that highlight a mix of American and immigrant cuisine.

Some of the vendors are new to the market, like Kabob2Go, but have a successful track record with food halls in other locations. The Mediterranean restaurant features kabobs, shawarmas, falafel and baba ghanouj — all made with imported spices from Lebanon.

Others, like A Lo Cubano and BrazaOrlando, have run food trucks here in town and have devoted customers.

Additional vendors include:

  • Dancing Yeti: a Nepali/Indian concept from Chef Rajesh Pathack that will feature Himalayan bowls, sandwiches and stuffed dumplings known as Momos.
  • Eighty Twenty: a new burger concept from Chef Andres Maldonado Fuertes, executive chef of Nona Street Pizza
  • Raj Express: an Indian restaurant serving traditional curries, homemade cheeses and pepper fry.

The food hall features a sprawling central bar where visitors can order from any of the vendors or just enjoy a beer or craft cocktail. Orange County Brewers is still building its 3,000-square-foot craft brewery, which is slated to open in about four months.

Lake Mary-based Stack’d Brownies snagged the only dessert-focused stall and will serve its unique array of baked treats alongside soft-serve ice cream and milkshakes.

For Robinson, this weekend’s opening is the culmination of a journey that started eight years ago.

“And so it’s been a long time in development from the planning stages to the execution of building stages,” he said. “And when you get to the last minute, it’s all hands on deck. It’s chaotic. It’s exciting. It’s nervous, and we can’t wait till tonight and tomorrow night to open it up to the community and then ready for the whole entire community this weekend.”

But after this week, he’ll quickly turn his attention to the next phases of Packing District buildout. Robinson said Dr. Phillips has just begun to market to new retail buildings lining Princeton Street and Orange Blossom Trail.

“So we did our first bit of marketing to the brokerage community, probably two months ago,” he told GrowthSpotter. “And the response to that has been overwhelming. We’ve already started executing leases there, and we are excited about the quality of the tenancy that will be coming in, and so that’s going to be a real add to the community. It’ll help with providing more traffic into Foxtail and Publix in that entire area. And then after that our big next project is what’s going to happen in the green space right out front here. And our plans are for a hotel and then office building and so that’ll be the next big step for us.”

Robinson said the district already has entitlements for the hotel and office  building, but the development team is trying to decide whether to build two buildings or stack them together in a single building. The hotel user will be a boutique, limited-service brand with 120 rooms, since it will be intended to complement the food hall.

“That was the intent of why we’ve done these together, why we intentionally are working on a hotel for this corner, because we have event space here we have food service. We’ve already designed a parking garage to serve all of the utilization,” he said.

CFCAR's Hallmark Awards will be held at The Great Southern Box Company Food Hall on July 24th!  Be sure to save the date and be on the lookout for more information!

Source:  GrowthSpotter

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