The rumors of a tavern to be slotted next door to the White Cross Market suddenly became a whole lot more interesting. If completed, Food District will become a major new downtown addition and could turn into a focal hub for this often maligned section of the City.
So.Down Food District is proposing to take the 21,890-square-foot empty space behind the White Cross and Vickie’s Diner and create a one-stop entertainment, dining and drinking destination. The diner and family market will not be affected, nor are part of the upgrades.
Tentatively named Food District, but already intricately planned, the heart of the building is the "Global Street Market," selling internationally inspired dishes from a host of different merchants.
The owners see separate kitchens and even pushcarts creating a lively atmosphere. Plentiful seating fills the space and surrounds a stage area where live entertainment will be provided from noon to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with late night performers on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, every Saturday, an outdoor "Night Market" will take place from 5 p.m to 11 p.m, with food tucks and even more temporarily vendors added to the mix.
Inside, nine separate kitchens have been penciled in, plus a coffee shop and a juice bar, encouraging small bite grazing for guests. Twelve different pushcarts will circulate, including fresh flower, spices and candy carts.
They also want visitors to pair their food with creations from their "nano-brew," on-site, slimmed down version of a micro-brewery. Anyone of age can walk up and sample a flight of beer, but for those who make a reservation, they can also gain access to a "Japanese Sake Speakeasy."
Creative partner Ly Dao of D!G Development Group is an integral part of the project and the Food District has a similar tone to D!G's currently stalled Galaxy Street Market, once planned to sit across the street from the Arts Factory on Charleston Blvd.
Even at this early stage, the Food District estimates they will be open for business from 7 a.m to 11 p.m and until 2 a.m on Friday and Saturdays. No timetable for completion or the start of construction has yet been released.