Parlor opens in crossroads amid food hall boom in US, KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Food halls are popping up across the country and Kansas City is no exception. Friday, Parlor officially opened its doors in the crossroads.

Finding one specific definition for a food hall can be tough, but at Parlor, it means seven local and chef-driven concepts with cozy seating areas and bars.

Customers can find brands they know like Farm to Market, which plans to sell sandwiches or a new concept from Chef Katee McLean. Vildhast KC serves Scandinavian street food, a different menu than her restaurant Krokstrom in midtown Kansas City.

You can try Empanadas, Pizza, Nashville-style Hot Chicken, even wildly topped milkshakes, dumplings, and more.  

“it’s options, people don’t like to settle anymore. Families can dine here. It’s a date night place, ” said general manager Dom Hoferer.

He came home to Kansas City to work at Parlor from food halls like Eataly in New York.

 

 

 

“Most food halls will go out and search for their own ideas and have other people execute them. Here, we said ‘give us your ideas,’” he said.

From 2017 to 2020, research released this year by Cushman & Wakefield projects food halls in the United States will triple to 300. By then, Kansas City alone could have four.

A few blocks away at 17th and Grand, developers announced plans this summer to spend $95 million redeveloping the site of the former KC Star building. Their plans include a food hall and hope to be open by 2020. They are still tweaking their final designs as well as a name for the project.

Also hoping to open in 2020 is a new development where the Mission Center Mall once stood. Those plans include a food hall by Chef Tom Colicchio.

After more than a decade of other stalled plans at the site, signs of progress and construction equipment can be seen.

And Lenexa Public Market manager Carmen Chopp told 41 Action News their food hall concept had a successful first year after opening last September.

Chopp said the food hall is close to but not at full capacity. Customers can find big tenants like The Roasterie alongside pop up and smaller vendors like Red Kitchen Tamales.

Even with so many food halls popping up in such a short time in Kansas City and the U.S., Hoferer believes there won’t be a struggle to support them.

“It’s the way restaurants are trending now with restaurant cost rising,” he said. “The more there are, the less difficulty we have explaining the concept and it becomes more familiar and people just get it.”  

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