A Smaller Version of 'Bourdain Market' May Open in Manhattan Next Year
As an author and television host with a laundry list of projects under his belt, Anthony Bourdain – who unexpectedly passed away three years ago – already has an incredible legacy. But a new report suggests that one project he was never able to get off the ground – a food hall called "Bourdain Market" – may finally come to fruition, albeit in a significantly different form.
Planned as an international street food market – attempting to bring many of the best street food chefs from around the world under one roof in New York City – Bourdain Market was originally slated to open as early as 2015. By 2017, the planned Pier 57 food hall had its opening date pushed back to 2019 – and then, later that year, Bourdain stated the project couldn't secure the location, leaving the entire idea in limbo with no clear next step. After the chef's death, his food hall seemed destined to simply be a footnote on his amazing career.
But yesterday, Eater reported that many of the same players who were helping to organize the food hall the first time around are now planning to bring a similar project to fruition: Previous Bourdain partners Urbanspace and Singaporean street food expert KF Seetoh are now eyeing their version of a Singapore-style hawker center in Midtown Manhattan (specifically, 135 West 50th Street) slated to open in early 2022.
This new venue – which is currently unnamed – will reportedly offer 18 Singaporean vendors, significantly less than the upwards of 50 stalls that Bourdain had envisioned. But Eldon Scott, co-founder and president of Urbanspace, told Eater he believed the timing was right for this more manageable concept. "I think people are as excited as ever to go back out," he was quoted as saying. "This is our opportunity to bring small businesses that are based in Singapore to come to New York."
As for the space itself, Seetoh told Eater the plan is for the 10,000-square-foot food hall to cover a stretch of 6 ½ Avenue between 50th and 51st streets. "We want to help the hawkers run a business with just one dish," he stated. "You don't need four walls to be successful."
Whether the new food hall would include any mention of or tribute to Bourdain wasn't discussed. That said, clearly Bourdain fans will understand the deeper connection whether it's addressed explicitly or not.