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French Market [sneak peek]

French Market [sneak peek]
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  • French Market [sneak peek]

    Post #1 - November 21st, 2009, 2:26 pm
    Post #1 - November 21st, 2009, 2:26 pm Post #1 - November 21st, 2009, 2:26 pm
    Sneak Peek: French Market

    The French Market is scheduled to open in early December. I nosed around yesterday and talked to some of the vendors who are receiving (or nervously awaiting receipt of) their equipment. Some are close to setting up their spaces…

    Image

    …though there’s still some work to be done.

    Dobra “cookie_monster” Bielinski is ready to go, white jacket and all.

    Image

    Apparently opening one new location this quarter isn't enough for her; she’s going for the exacta (her other new place is 1710 N. Wells) but somehow still maintains a cheerful attitude. She had a box of stuff and gave me some, including an absolutely magnificent almond pastry: what I liked was that it wasn’t very sweet, which was a good thing, the flavors of the almond and other ingredients were not overwhelmed by sugariness; it was nutty and crunchy and good.

    Jeroen Hasenbos is opening Frietkoten, a Belgian fry place that sounds like something Chicago has needed for a good long time. His fry hood is up.

    Image

    Jeroen is going to offer 20 sauces to go with his fries (such as the classic ketchup/mayo/onion combo so beloved in Amsterdam). At some point after the opening date, Frietkoten is also going to be serving Dutch and Belgian beer (not sure, but I think the idea is that you grab a beer and a cone of fries and go elsewhere to consume).

    The brains behind French Market are the Bensidouns. Here (left) Dmitri Fayard (World Pastry Chef 2008 and owner of Vanille, also opening an outpost here) poses with Bensidoun Pere e fils.

    Image

    The French Market will meet the need for feed in the Metra station. The only obvious "competition": a nearby food court and the snack area at CVS across the way.

    Image

    Not really competition in any sense.

    I don’t usually ride the Metra, but the market seems like it’s going to be a huge benefit for suburban commuters as well as El-loving folks like me who regularly use the Clinton stop (when going, for instance, to the Maxwell Street Market, which is really aiming at a different demo).

    Having visited the French Market in Forest Park, I was honestly a little dubious (fearing jewelry, tchochkes and other non-food items that are of no interest to me). However, there are a lot of high-quality vendors setting up at this French Market, in addition to those mentioned, Canady Le Chocolatier, Jim Slama’s Chicago Organics and Pastoral.

    French Market
    131 N. Clinton
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - November 21st, 2009, 7:43 pm
    Post #2 - November 21st, 2009, 7:43 pm Post #2 - November 21st, 2009, 7:43 pm
    David -- do you think this place is going to have the same kind of atmosphere as the market in Philly -- The Reading Terminal? I remember when I visited there many years ago how much I wanted something like it in Chicago.

    I'm not currently working in the West Loop but for a cool location like the Reading Terminal -- I'd make it a destination.

    The idea of the Fry place really gets me all excited...
  • Post #3 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:04 am
    Post #3 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:04 am Post #3 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:04 am
    Hi,

    This French Market is adjacent to the Ogilvy Transportation Center. I see the address is a bit north of the Madison/Canal location. Is it at the other end of the railroad tracks? I'm trying to conceptualize where this is relative to where I usually land.

    Any idea on their proposed hours? The Metra food court is open early and late into the evening. It is far more comfortable to sit around there than to go to the small waiting area. Will the French Market also have seating? If yes, then I can easily hang there. If it is conceived, you shop and take off. I can see myself staying in the food court after strolling around the French Market.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:13 am
    Post #4 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:13 am Post #4 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:13 am
    earthlydesire, I can't speak to the Philly market -- I was last in the City of Brotherlove a few years before Rocky was made, so, you know, it's been a while.

    C2, there's a huge yellow awning over the entrance, and it is north of the big Metra glass building, right off what I believe is called the Suburban Concourse (but nobody calls it that). Hours are 7:30AM to 7:30PM, weekedays, and 8:30AM-8:00PM on Saturday. There's validated parking.

    Good question about seating. I'm just not sure, but I'm exchanging emails with Monsieur Bensidoun this morning and will ask.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #5 - November 22nd, 2009, 12:59 pm
    Post #5 - November 22nd, 2009, 12:59 pm Post #5 - November 22nd, 2009, 12:59 pm
    Thanks for this update. As a daily Metra commuter from Evanston, I’ve been skeptical and excited about the French Market opening. I saw ventilation ducts sprout through my usual morning platform this week, so I started to have more faith in a December opening. And your pictures give me more hope. There should entrances across from the CVS pictured and at the corner of Randolph and Canal. The only problem with this place is that I am going to have to rewire my brain to add browsing time to my usual “to the minute” walk from River North to the train.
    Have another. It's 9:30, for God's sake. ~Roger Sterling
  • Post #6 - November 22nd, 2009, 1:41 pm
    Post #6 - November 22nd, 2009, 1:41 pm Post #6 - November 22nd, 2009, 1:41 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    This French Market is adjacent to the Ogilvy Transportation Center. I see the address is a bit north of the Madison/Canal location. Is it at the other end of the railroad tracks? I'm trying to conceptualize where this is relative to where I usually land.


    Ground level, far end of the tracks. Same building. It's been an empty wilderness of space for years. A CVS opened in the past year but the space was otherwise empty. If you go down the stairs between the trains, you'll end up right there.

    After working in the Northwestern station (sorry, that's what it will always be to me) for 16 years, it's about time. I'm REALLY looking forward to being to just walk downstairs at lunchtime (or any other time of the day) and patronize these vendors!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #7 - November 22nd, 2009, 5:37 pm
    Post #7 - November 22nd, 2009, 5:37 pm Post #7 - November 22nd, 2009, 5:37 pm
    This just in:

    There will be seating in the public area — including wicker chairs and wood tables — located to the right of the market vendors and cooked food area (Saigon Sisters, Frietkoten, Bowl Square Korean, etc.) when you first walk into the Market from the suburban concourse entrance.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - December 1st, 2009, 8:14 pm
    Post #8 - December 1st, 2009, 8:14 pm Post #8 - December 1st, 2009, 8:14 pm
    We at The Spice House were seriously considering becoming a vendor there. We were skeptical about the initial predicted September opening, and when that got delayed until December, there was no way we had the time to take care of our super busy stores and begin a new spot. I give Dobra of Delightful Pastries credit for doing both this market, and the new place on Wells street, it is really lovely. They say the opening is going to pull off on December 3rd and I am eager to check it out. They do have a really nice line-up of high quality food vendors. Anyone else plan on stopping in?
  • Post #9 - December 1st, 2009, 8:36 pm
    Post #9 - December 1st, 2009, 8:36 pm Post #9 - December 1st, 2009, 8:36 pm
    Cinnamon Girl wrote:Anyone else plan on stopping in?


    I plan to be there around noon.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #10 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:23 am
    Post #10 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:23 am Post #10 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:23 am
    Cinnamon Girl wrote:They say the opening is going to pull off on December 3rd and I am eager to check it out...Anyone else plan on stopping in?

    Hot damn, that's good info...we just drove by there tonight and were wondering when it was finally gonna open. I plan on clearing my lunch schedule so I can check it out on opening day.
  • Post #11 - December 2nd, 2009, 1:02 am
    Post #11 - December 2nd, 2009, 1:02 am Post #11 - December 2nd, 2009, 1:02 am
    Peeking into the area on the evening commute tonight, I am anxious to see it all come together. They must be putting in a lot of finishing touches still. Will be there around lunch time on Thursday. Can't wait!
  • Post #12 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Post #12 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:03 pm Post #12 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:03 pm
    This French Market is adjacent to the Ogilvy Transportation Center. I see the address is a bit north of the Madison/Canal location. Is it at the other end of the railroad tracks? I'm trying to conceptualize where this is relative to where I usually land.


    Cathy, it's basically Randolph and Clinton. I used to work at Madison/Wacker and recently moved to Randolph/Wacker, so I now take this exit in the morning/evening for the Metra.

    I'm pretty stoked.
  • Post #13 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:09 pm
    Post #13 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:09 pm Post #13 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:09 pm
    Lots of details from food editor Janet Rausa Fuller in today's Sun Times:

    New French Market a fresh option for West Loop.

    One potentially interesting tidbit on a subject that was discussed earlier:

    Chicago Sun Times wrote:Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    Ground-level parking is located in the MetraMarket complex, just north of the main entrance at 131 N. Clinton. Parking is free for one hour with a $20 purchase at the market.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:13 pm
    Post #14 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:13 pm Post #14 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:13 pm
    David,

    Do you have a listing of all vendors that will open in this new market and the date of opening? They were passing out flyers yesterday but I wasn't able to grab one as I was in a hurry to grab my train.

    Thanks
  • Post #15 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:15 pm
    Post #15 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:15 pm Post #15 - December 2nd, 2009, 12:15 pm
    From their super top secret website:

    List of vendors

    Opening is set for tomorrow.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #16 - December 2nd, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Post #16 - December 2nd, 2009, 2:44 pm Post #16 - December 2nd, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Yeah the website is blocked at my office, I work for the gestapo.

    Just hoping someone can do a little c & p.
  • Post #17 - December 2nd, 2009, 2:55 pm
    Post #17 - December 2nd, 2009, 2:55 pm Post #17 - December 2nd, 2009, 2:55 pm
    I work for myself. Here it is.

    Produce:
    Chicago Organics
    City Fresh Market
    Produce Express

    Meat:
    Chicago Organics
    Fumare
    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine

    Cheese:
    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
    Wisconsin Cheese Mart

    Snacks:
    Chundy's Bistro
    Completely Nuts
    FliP Crepes
    Frietkoten
    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
    Pop This!
    RAW.
    Saigon Sisters
    Vanille Patisserie

    Specialty Coffee/Smoothies:
    Chundy's Bistro
    Espression by Lavazza
    FliP Crepes
    Juicy Orange
    RAW.
    Saigon Sisters

    Prepared Meals:
    Bowl Square
    Buen Apetito
    Chundy's Bistro
    FliP Crepes
    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
    RAW.
    Saigon Sisters

    Ice Cream:
    Espression by Lavazza

    Baked Goods:
    Canady Le Chocolatier
    Chundy's Bistro
    Delightful Pastries
    FliP Crepes
    Necessity Baking Co.
    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
    Provo's Village Bake Shoppe
    RAW.
    Sweet Miss Giving's
    Vanille Patisserie

    Special Essentials:
    Abbey Brown Soap Artisan
    Les Fleurs
    Necessity Baking Co.
    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
    RAW.
    Saigon Sisters
    Vanille Patisserie

    Whether you are looking for a quick breakfast, a business lunch, casual dinner or just

    something to snack on, Chicago French Market has a number of dining options for carry out to

    your place or dine in at ours.
  • Post #18 - December 2nd, 2009, 3:23 pm
    Post #18 - December 2nd, 2009, 3:23 pm Post #18 - December 2nd, 2009, 3:23 pm
    I'm so excited to stop in here for lunch ater this week.
    Too bad Spice House couldn't make it as a vendor, it would have just brought it all together that much more :)
    Models Eat too!!!
    www.bellaventresca.com
  • Post #19 - December 2nd, 2009, 3:40 pm
    Post #19 - December 2nd, 2009, 3:40 pm Post #19 - December 2nd, 2009, 3:40 pm
    Cinnamon Girl wrote:We at The Spice House were seriously considering becoming a vendor there. We were skeptical about the initial predicted September opening, and when that got delayed until December, there was no way we had the time to take care of our super busy stores and begin a new spot. I give Dobra of Delightful Pastries credit for doing both this market, and the new place on Wells street, it is really lovely. They say the opening is going to pull off on December 3rd and I am eager to check it out. They do have a really nice line-up of high quality food vendors. Anyone else plan on stopping in?

    Bummer, I am so disappointed. Do you think it is still a possibility in the near future? Your current locations are not convenient to me. I even took the bus to your Old Town location during lunch once when I was totally desparate.
  • Post #20 - December 2nd, 2009, 9:00 pm
    Post #20 - December 2nd, 2009, 9:00 pm Post #20 - December 2nd, 2009, 9:00 pm
    Nice article in the Trib

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/ch ... 5202.story

    I don't work in the Loop but I drive in there a few days a week. So if I park halfway between the Daley Center and the Northwestern Station (and I'll be darned if I ever call it by it's new name) I can find treats for either luch or dinner?

    Where does Pastoral get their bread? I have to drive kinda far to get a decent baguette nowadays.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #21 - December 2nd, 2009, 9:30 pm
    Post #21 - December 2nd, 2009, 9:30 pm Post #21 - December 2nd, 2009, 9:30 pm
    AngrySarah wrote:Where does Pastoral get their bread? I have to drive kinda far to get a decent baguette nowadays.

    Bennison's.
  • Post #22 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:22 am
    Post #22 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:22 am Post #22 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:22 am
    We have mixed feelings about whether this market will work or not. In reality, the rent is $3100 for a 27 foot space. This makes it very difficult to make any profit, we would just consider this advertising for our Wells Street store. So, we would be interested in further input that you could not make it to our store, less than two miles away, but would buy product from us at the market? In comparison, at that price, we could start another Spice House outpost. Obviously not in that neighborhood, but maybe Orland or Tinley Park, the next spot that we feel would support us. Your input here would be very welcome.
  • Post #23 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:28 am
    Post #23 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:28 am Post #23 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:28 am
    Cinnamon Girl wrote:We have mixed feelings about whether this market will work or not. In reality, the rent is $3100 for a 27 foot space. This makes it very difficult to make any profit, we would just consider this advertising for our Wells Street store. So, we would be interested in further input that you could not make it to our store, less than two miles away, but would buy product from us at the market? In comparison, at that price, we could start another Spice House outpost. Obviously not in that neighborhood, but maybe Orland or Tinley Park, the next spot that we feel would support us. Your input here would be very welcome.


    It seems that the traffic at the Metra Market location will probably be much more intense than anywhere in Orland Park or Tinley Park. Is it a good business deal for a spice store? Can't say.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #24 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:00 am
    Post #24 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:00 am Post #24 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:00 am
    My guess is the Market will get people who never would get to The Spice house, because they are train commuters living where driving to your Old Town or Evanston locations wouldn't be convenient.

    When I took the train daily I shopped at Bath and Body Works in the station there. Since my commute is no longer by train, I have not set foot into a BBW store.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #25 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:05 am
    Post #25 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:05 am Post #25 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:05 am
    Cinnamon Girl wrote: maybe Orland or Tinley Park, the next spot that we feel would support us. Your input here would be very welcome.


    Orland or Tinley Park or another sw suburb would be great for me & others in the sw burbs(exurbs). I visit your Geneva location, but not as often as I would like.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #26 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:31 am
    Post #26 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:31 am Post #26 - December 3rd, 2009, 10:31 am
    I can’t exactly say the space looks beautiful because it’s still a train station basement, but I did like what I saw this morning. Pastoral’s space isn’t finished but it occupies a corner and has a lot of space and windows to the street so it might turn out to be the nicest corner of the market. I got some Viennese Almond Crescents from Delightful Pastries for my office. I’m planning on getting breakfast from Vanille tomorrow. Tallgrass Beef’s prices looked decent for the quality of the meat. It doesn’t appear there’s going to be a wine shop, but CVS sells wine so it will be possible to pick up everything for a splurge dinner on the way home.
    Have another. It's 9:30, for God's sake. ~Roger Sterling
  • Post #27 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:28 pm
    Post #27 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:28 pm Post #27 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:28 pm
    Cinnamon Girl wrote: but maybe Orland or Tinley Park, the next spot that we feel would support us. Your input here would be very welcome.


    I'm in Lansing,Il and would support either of those locations. When I lived in Chicago,I visited the Wells and Evanston stores regularly.
  • Post #28 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:32 pm
    Post #28 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:32 pm Post #28 - December 3rd, 2009, 12:32 pm
    There's a wine shop on Washington, Just Grapes, I think, a block or so west of the station.
  • Post #29 - December 3rd, 2009, 1:30 pm
    Post #29 - December 3rd, 2009, 1:30 pm Post #29 - December 3rd, 2009, 1:30 pm
    Just got back from a very bustling French Market and am enjoying a sandwich from Pastoral at my desk (with some coconut macaroons from Delightful Pastries for later). I thought the vendors were doing a nice job today considering the crowds. I also thought the meat and fish looked really good and I look forward to next summer when I can pick stuff up to grill at home. All in all, an outstanding addition to the city.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #30 - December 3rd, 2009, 1:30 pm
    Post #30 - December 3rd, 2009, 1:30 pm Post #30 - December 3rd, 2009, 1:30 pm
    I walked over around 11:30 and the place was packed. So much so, that I just walked through and out the other side. Work is close, so I will certainly be back when the crowd has eased or the vendors have gotten up to speed.

    It looks like a great addition to the area. I hope that it sticks around.

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