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Time Out Market - I'm Excited...

Time Out Market - I'm Excited...
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  • Time Out Market - I'm Excited...

    Post #1 - March 28th, 2019, 9:30 am
    Post #1 - March 28th, 2019, 9:30 am Post #1 - March 28th, 2019, 9:30 am
    916 W Fulton Market, Chicago

    https://www.timeout.com/chicago/restaur ... hef-lineup

    50,000 sq ft, 3 levels, rooftop, 18 restaurants, 3 bars

    In the lineup so far...

    Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig, Dana Salls Cree of Pretty Cool Ice Cream, Thai Dang of HaiSous, Brian Fisher of Entente, Bill Kim of Urbanbelly, Edward Kim of Mott St., Zoe Schor of Split-Rail and Art Shabez of The Art of Pizza.

    It's gonna be Huuugge!
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #2 - March 28th, 2019, 10:27 am
    Post #2 - March 28th, 2019, 10:27 am Post #2 - March 28th, 2019, 10:27 am
    Ooo wee, this raises a ton of concerns about bias, credibility, etc. Are TOC journalists or restaurateurs? In addition to a cadre of places about which they'll likely never write another negative word, they've now put themselves in direct competition with places they're supposed to be reviewing objectively. Not that TOC's reviews have ever been worth much but this move blurs the line in dangerous and undesirable way.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #3 - March 28th, 2019, 10:37 am
    Post #3 - March 28th, 2019, 10:37 am Post #3 - March 28th, 2019, 10:37 am
    Not the first time news organizations have owned public entities.

    Always have to be selective on who reports places you quote.

    In this case it is a pretty respectable lineup regardless of who’s reporting.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #4 - March 28th, 2019, 11:29 am
    Post #4 - March 28th, 2019, 11:29 am Post #4 - March 28th, 2019, 11:29 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ooo wee, this raises a ton of concerns about bias, credibility, etc. Are TOC journalists or restaurateurs? In addition to a cadre of places about which they'll likely never write another negative word, they've now put themselves in direct competition with places they're supposed to be reviewing objectively. Not that TOC's reviews have ever been worth much but this move blurs the line in dangerous and undesirable way.

    =R=


    Agreed. Will they write negative pieces for the competition is an issue?
    Last edited by pairs4life on March 28th, 2019, 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #5 - March 28th, 2019, 11:43 am
    Post #5 - March 28th, 2019, 11:43 am Post #5 - March 28th, 2019, 11:43 am
    It's Time Out, not exactly hard-hitting journalism. They're already a little suspect in terms of credibility. But they've been doing this elsewhere with considerable success, the general idea is to have a "curated" place for tourists to sample the city's offerings. It's not dramatically different than what the French Market started out as.
  • Post #6 - March 28th, 2019, 12:07 pm
    Post #6 - March 28th, 2019, 12:07 pm Post #6 - March 28th, 2019, 12:07 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:It's Time Out, not exactly hard-hitting journalism. They're already a little suspect in terms of credibility. But they've been doing this elsewhere with considerable success, the general idea is to have a "curated" place for tourists to sample the city's offerings. It's not dramatically different than what the French Market started out as.

    Agreed on TOC's overall credibility. As for the French Market, it doesn't also own and operate an editorial publication that covers restaurants and bars.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #7 - March 28th, 2019, 12:34 pm
    Post #7 - March 28th, 2019, 12:34 pm Post #7 - March 28th, 2019, 12:34 pm
    I'm certainly excited about the market, particularly when it comes to the vendors named so far. And for me, Time Out long ago ceased being a guide I would look to for restaurant advice (they must know this too), so I hardly care. I think they're on about the same level as Where magazine.
  • Post #8 - March 29th, 2019, 9:04 am
    Post #8 - March 29th, 2019, 9:04 am Post #8 - March 29th, 2019, 9:04 am
    Food halls, food halls... everyone wants to build a food hall.

    Here's my take - our group now operating in 3 halls in 2 cities, probably opening in 3 more this year (not announced), and taking 20 meetings after 100 proposals from Seattle to Miami..

    There are a few varying public opinions on this trend: 1) it's over-hyped and short-lived 2) everyone is making a killing at food halls 3) popular chef-driven concepts are a perfect fit

    1) It's not so much over-hyped or short-lived, but their success is misappropriated - more below.

    2) 10% of the vendors at any given hall do really well, not all food halls are having success, NO food hall is busy outside of peak hours of dining (11-2 mainly as this is a great lunch, dinner not so much, but you'll squeeze a decent dinner 5-7).

    3) Chefs have taken a liking to fast-casual as an escape from the high-pressure environment of their main establishments. The trick is: your concept has to make sense on several notes: a) it must be delicious b) it has to be easy to understand (helps if you already have a B & M of the same c) needs to be executed at a high level daily without the (chef) talent - as he/she likely has to spend their time elsewhere.

    First and foremost, it's not a cash-grab. You can't charge $18 for a cheeseburger, even if it's Wagyu, in a counter-service environment. Using high level ingredients costs the same over a counter as it does at a table - and the cost of the dining room and server isn't 2-3x more than the counter service joint. Your ingredients are still your main cost of the dish regardless of what medium it's sold. When you serve a "chef burger" in a sit-down place that has a full restaurant menu, you can get away with a $18 price tag. Your premium burger ingredients cost (at most) $3-$4. To make a profit, you need to charge 4x-5x food cost (standard used to be 3x, but with rising cost of labor, rent, etc. you gotta shoot a little higher these days). In a dining room, with a (tipped) server, $17-$21 is the new norm for the "chef burger". You just can't get that $$ across a counter, but you're using the same ingredients and a $15-$17/hr line cook running the griddle/grill.

    So the main idea: your food has to be delicious and affordable.. but also "cool", but not "too cool"... so - we're talking high end comfort food that's not too expensive. taking notes?

    Food halls are a great way to bring a bunch of concepts together for diners in a densely populated area. Sharing overhead, designing a cool space (Revival is the best example of this), having a good bar program, music, etc. all add to the experience & value. However, a food-hall is not a "cash-grab" or as easy as Revival makes it look. Revival is successful because 14 top-notch concepts, that already exist and have systems/success elsewhere, brought their respective talents to a well-managed, well designed, well-run establishment. You can't invent a one-off concept for a food-hall and expect the same success. You can't get into the food hall biz without really knowing the restaurant biz. You need a myriad of great teams to execute a great food hall - the halls I have seen that only use 1 chef, to essentially invent 10-20 "concepts" are boring and bland.

    To summarize: Food halls aren't a short-lived trend, but only the really well-executed halls will survive. Within the hall - only the very-well run concepts will survive and thrive, the rest will be constantly switched out.
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://pitbarbq.com
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  • Post #9 - March 29th, 2019, 12:22 pm
    Post #9 - March 29th, 2019, 12:22 pm Post #9 - March 29th, 2019, 12:22 pm
    rubbbqco wrote:2) 10% of the vendors at any given hall do really well, not all food halls are having success, NO food hall is busy outside of peak hours of dining (11-2 mainly as this is a great lunch, dinner not so much, but you'll squeeze a decent dinner 5-7).


    Good insight all around, but I'm wondering if Time Out will be different in this regard. I was just in Lisbon at the beginning of the month for about a week and dined at the Time Out Market twice and walked through another time, all at off peak hours(even for Portuguese/Europeans), and it was always slammed.

    As mentioned up-thread, this is much more aimed at/suited for tourists and that's what the name recognition brings it. I met a few Europeans in my travels/here that had no idea about Revival when visiting Chicago, but they'd be very likely to know about a Time Out Market. I don't know how that translates to American travelers, which we obviously get a lot more of, but I'd be willing to bet that they'd be much more likely to know about this than Revival or any of our other ones.
  • Post #10 - September 12th, 2019, 11:06 am
    Post #10 - September 12th, 2019, 11:06 am Post #10 - September 12th, 2019, 11:06 am
    Getting better with more chefs joining...

    https://www.timeout.com/chicago/restaur ... f-lineup-2
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #11 - November 21st, 2019, 9:47 am
    Post #11 - November 21st, 2019, 9:47 am Post #11 - November 21st, 2019, 9:47 am
    The latest of Time Out's food halls has opened on Fulton (at Sangamon). They opened the first one in Lisbon and there are others in Montreal, NY, Boston and Miami. It's a very curated selection of local spots/chefs. I attended a preview last night with limited menus at each booth but the food was great. Band of Bohemia, Purple Pig, Abe Conlon and Brian Fisher were standouts, but I got pretty full pretty quickly, so hard to judge all of them.
  • Post #12 - November 21st, 2019, 3:16 pm
    Post #12 - November 21st, 2019, 3:16 pm Post #12 - November 21st, 2019, 3:16 pm
    Finally open

    https://www.timeout.com/chicago/news/ti ... 9--2534013
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #13 - January 7th, 2020, 4:06 pm
    Post #13 - January 7th, 2020, 4:06 pm Post #13 - January 7th, 2020, 4:06 pm
    So, anything particularly outstanding here?

    We were in a rush and didn’t have time to really investigate, so we just went over to Abe Conlon’s Portuguese place and it was ... okay? The roast pork sandwich was fine if not especially exciting and on the small side. The açorda (bread soup) had a flavorful broth that was unfortunately quite oversalted and many of the clams were pretty gritty. As long as I’m nitpicking, let me add that I think it would work better with denser bread (seems like they use the rolls from the sandwiches). Anyway, nothing was bad but it’s no Fat Rice.

    From what I saw of the market, the prices are pretty high across the board. Also, the only way to get water is to go to the bar; really wish they’d add a couple of dispensers.

    Lost Larson was the same as the original (delicious, expensive).
  • Post #14 - January 10th, 2020, 11:52 am
    Post #14 - January 10th, 2020, 11:52 am Post #14 - January 10th, 2020, 11:52 am
    Agreed that it seems overpriced compared to, say, Revival. I had a (very good) non-alcoholic drink that was $13; price wasn't listed before I ordered it. The food that I had was good (tacos from Dos Urban) and it's a fun social scene with a lot of choices, but I prefer Revival.

    Love,
    John
    It isn't that I'm not full...
  • Post #15 - January 10th, 2020, 3:38 pm
    Post #15 - January 10th, 2020, 3:38 pm Post #15 - January 10th, 2020, 3:38 pm
    Wow, $13 for a non-alcoholic drink! I remember when cocktails started going over the $10 price point about a decade ago.
  • Post #16 - January 21st, 2020, 2:44 pm
    Post #16 - January 21st, 2020, 2:44 pm Post #16 - January 21st, 2020, 2:44 pm
    I thought this place was great. Hit it yesterday so don't know if there were more or less crowds than usual due to MLK, but it was crowded but also easy to get seats (and we were six with my wife and four kids) and full of life. I don't care what TOC is writing about it (do they actually produce content anymore?), it's a terrific space with a ton of tempting vendors, lively crowd and fun bar. Also, dunno about mocktails but my draft Foggy Geezer was $8 - pretty reasonable, non?

    More than we could try in one visit, obviously (and the kids definitely cramped our range of ordering style). I probably would have done Conlan - his menu is far and away the most extensive (# of items) of all of the vendors - but was relatively fresh off a Saturday night Fat Rice dinner, so we hit Band of Bohemia for naan with eggplant and lamb kofti and octopus, a guy's name (Brian …?) for chicken katsu sandwich and egg rolls, Duck Inn for hot dogs and duck fat fries and Mott St. for burgers and fries (I was intrigued by the Italian beef option, among other things we didn't get to try). Order, sit and return to retrieve worked in about 5 minutes, and I thought everything we had was very good given the fast food-like turnaround (and I don't mean that as a slight to anything - it was all good, except perhaps the egg rolls which I didn't care for but the kids loved).

    Maybe my tourist radar isn't as sharp as others' but I didn't sense a heavy tilt in that direction. Good amount of families (again, a holiday) but also lots of west loop worker types.

    I see why some might be skeptical (we were just in Lisbon and actively avoided it there), but definitely a favorable first impression for me.
  • Post #17 - January 21st, 2020, 5:36 pm
    Post #17 - January 21st, 2020, 5:36 pm Post #17 - January 21st, 2020, 5:36 pm
    Ahmad Shareef wrote:Maybe my tourist radar isn't as sharp as others' but I didn't sense a heavy tilt in that direction. Good amount of families (again, a holiday) but also lots of west loop worker types.


    The open-early/close-late hours make it appealing to people in the neighborhood. My son is in that area for work occasionally and loves it.
  • Post #18 - January 22nd, 2020, 8:33 am
    Post #18 - January 22nd, 2020, 8:33 am Post #18 - January 22nd, 2020, 8:33 am
    Ahmad Shareef wrote:I see why some might be skeptical (we were just in Lisbon and actively avoided it there), but definitely a favorable first impression for me.


    Curious as to why you actively avoided it in Lisbon?

    I was there about a year ago and was interested since we were getting one so I checked it out and found that many of the restaurants that I wanted to hit were represented there. I could piece together a meal from 4 different places on my list without taking up a ton of time bouncing around town and (insanely) overeating. Sure, not the same as dining at those restaurants, but I was able to try different chefs' takes on some traditional items and I didn't have a shortage of places to have proper meals at either.

    Yeah, it was a bit tourist-heavy, but I gathered that a lot of the clientele were locals as well. I guess a bit of a disclaimer, it was definitely the off season, being late February.
  • Post #19 - January 22nd, 2020, 10:35 am
    Post #19 - January 22nd, 2020, 10:35 am Post #19 - January 22nd, 2020, 10:35 am
    Jared - thanks for all the good industry info and insights in the posts upthread (from almost a year ago, but still).

    On a separate/related note, there was another short lived food hall/"restaurant incubator," Fulton Galley, that came and went in about 5 months -- did not seem to really garner any discussion here (I did not ever go, but a friend whose opinion I trust on culinary matters had high praise fro Italianette). I'm sure there were things that the backers of that project did that set them up for failure, but surprised it was that short of a run, and this happened before they had direct competition down the street from Time Out.

    Between French Market, Politan Row, and TO Market, lots of options in the West Loop (the latter two being in more direct competition considering proximity).
  • Post #20 - January 22nd, 2020, 12:06 pm
    Post #20 - January 22nd, 2020, 12:06 pm Post #20 - January 22nd, 2020, 12:06 pm
    Matt wrote:Between French Market, Politan Row, and TO Market, lots of options in the West Loop (the latter two being in more direct competition considering proximity).

    Not too far are Aster, Revival, Latinicity, etc.... With Urbanspace's two locations upcoming, James Madison's dream of three food halls per every Chicagoan will soon become a reality.
  • Post #21 - January 23rd, 2020, 10:42 am
    Post #21 - January 23rd, 2020, 10:42 am Post #21 - January 23rd, 2020, 10:42 am
    Ziggy -- Regarding not going to TOM Lisbon, it was a combination of things: one, it's known to be tourist-y/super-crowded - although we were tourists ourselves, we prefer a lower-key approach (conversely, here, it felt imperative to check out TOM Chicago so I could comment on it to visitors asking for thoughts); two, we were lucky enough to spend most of our time with local friends at their favorite places, or they guided us to great spots, in the neighborhoods; three, my understanding is that it displaced a working market that had actual fish mongers, butchers, etc... so vendors that were actually part of the supply chain were replaced by those that can pay high rent and provide flashy (and delicious, apparently) product. Capitalism in SW Europe of all places?

    This last point is the philosophical one, and perhaps slicing the salami a wee bit thin given the overall displacement of wholesalers/other vendors in the west loop. The distinction for me is that TOM Chicago seems to have resulted from this general turnover in the neighborhood and wasn't the cause of it, nor was that building previously in use (to my knowledge) as a working market with different stalls/vendors. That said, I think I could have easily have gotten over this last point (and the first) if we didn't have the benefit of our local friends that have great taste.
  • Post #22 - January 24th, 2020, 11:07 am
    Post #22 - January 24th, 2020, 11:07 am Post #22 - January 24th, 2020, 11:07 am
    Ahmad Shareef wrote:my understanding is that it displaced a working market that had actual fish mongers, butchers, etc... so vendors that were actually part of the supply chain were replaced by those that can pay high rent and provide flashy (and delicious, apparently) product. Capitalism in SW Europe of all places?


    Fair enough. 2 things to that point though: I wasn't there in the morning, but I was under the impression that the right side/half of the building was still used as a standard/wholesale market...all the stalls that I could see were shuttered and there was a sanitation crew working in a more open area.

    2nd, is it really the cause/catalyst of gentrification in the area? It seemed to be a fairly nice area to begin with....but again, I'm no local so you probably got a more thorough story.
  • Post #23 - January 24th, 2020, 11:36 am
    Post #23 - January 24th, 2020, 11:36 am Post #23 - January 24th, 2020, 11:36 am
    ziggy wrote:2nd, is it really the cause/catalyst of gentrification in the area? It seemed to be a fairly nice area to begin with....but again, I'm no local so you probably got a more thorough story.


    The gentrification really began in the 1980's-1990's as Randolph street was gradually converting to an upscale restaurant row. Randolph actually experienced a decline in the earlier part of this century and picked up again about a decade ago. As Randolph rents starting increasing newer establishments moved a block up to Lake and then to Fulton Market, but its heyday as a center for food wholesalers was in the last century. By 2010 there were only a small number of such businesses.
  • Post #24 - January 24th, 2020, 12:09 pm
    Post #24 - January 24th, 2020, 12:09 pm Post #24 - January 24th, 2020, 12:09 pm
    spiny-

    I believe ziggy was asking about the Lisbon location.
    -Mary
  • Post #25 - January 24th, 2020, 3:01 pm
    Post #25 - January 24th, 2020, 3:01 pm Post #25 - January 24th, 2020, 3:01 pm
    The GP wrote:spiny-

    I believe ziggy was asking about the Lisbon location.


    My Friday ADD kicking in.
  • Post #26 - January 24th, 2020, 3:35 pm
    Post #26 - January 24th, 2020, 3:35 pm Post #26 - January 24th, 2020, 3:35 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:

    My Friday ADD kicking in.

    I hear ya. :lol:
    -Mary
  • Post #27 - January 27th, 2020, 1:56 pm
    Post #27 - January 27th, 2020, 1:56 pm Post #27 - January 27th, 2020, 1:56 pm
    The GP wrote:spiny-

    I believe ziggy was asking about the Lisbon location.


    yep
  • Post #28 - February 1st, 2020, 8:26 am
    Post #28 - February 1st, 2020, 8:26 am Post #28 - February 1st, 2020, 8:26 am
    cilantro wrote:From what I saw of the market, the prices are pretty high across the board.


    We stopped at the TOM's Arami last night. Got a sushi roll, five slices for about $20, or $4/slice. That, to me, is stupid high, especially for the fast-casual set-up where you order/pay for food, sit down, and wait to be beeped that it's ready, then go get it yourself and carry it back to your seat. At Arami, the standalone restaurant on Chicago, the maki rolls are as low as $8 and as high as $16, so TOM's Arami pricing seems high even for Arami.

    The place was packed last night, and with the music and big screens, it felt like a kind of club with pretty good (if overpriced) food.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #29 - February 1st, 2020, 10:26 pm
    Post #29 - February 1st, 2020, 10:26 pm Post #29 - February 1st, 2020, 10:26 pm
    David Hammond wrote:The place was packed last night, and with the music and big screens, it felt like a kind of club with pretty good (if overpriced) food.

    That’s a good way of putting it.

    For another example, a single pastel de nata at Abe Conlon will run you $4. It’s very good, but... it’s an egg tart for $4.

    On the other hand, I’ve never seen the place *not* packed, so maybe they could go even higher?
  • Post #30 - February 2nd, 2020, 3:10 pm
    Post #30 - February 2nd, 2020, 3:10 pm Post #30 - February 2nd, 2020, 3:10 pm
    Many of the food courts (not all) I equate with going to a city food fest (IE: Taste) where many go to to sample many different restaurants at one place.

    Often I (and I’m sure you) have set up a food crawl to visit places like this and also enjoy the different neighborhoods a crawl like this can take you too. Many people wouldn’t know where to start.

    Not to say I’m not going to visit, I’ll probably go once with my list (a wad of cash) and a few friends and have a great meal.

    The price you have to pay for this varietal convenience.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat

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