The 40,000 square foot venue will feature food "curated and inspired by" the chef and 'Top Chef' judge.
Credit: Jim Franco

Tom Colicchio already has an empire to his name, with six restaurants around the country. But soon, the chef and Top Chef judge will add another major piece of real estate to his culinary kingdom—an entire food hall. Colicchio's Crafted Hospitality is collaborating with real estate developers GFI and Cameron Group on the project which is being built at the Gateway development which takes over a former shopping mall in the City of Mission, Kansas southwest of Kansas City, Missouri.

The 40,000 square foot venue will be "curated and inspired by" Colicchio and will feature food from "nationally acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, coupled with local artisanal purveyors to offer the finest in freshly prepared foods, experiential dining, shopping and entertainment," according to a statement. "The development will expand upon the traditional food hall concept and be Kansas City’s first modern social venue that incorporates food and drink with social recreation gaming and events."

Colicchio said the food hall aims to be “a lifestyle entertainment destination anchored in chef-driven, culinary experiences with a focus on exceptional but accessible food. We will engage the local community by combining stand-alone restaurants and smaller counters curated by national and local chefs, to encourage social interaction.” Part of that social interaction will be game areas and tables for ping pong, billiards, shuffleboard, and bocce. So far there are no concrete details on the actual food and vendors involved or an opening date.

In addition to the food hall and games, the Gateway development will also house a concert venue, art installations, and feature both indoor and outdoor spaces for dining and events.

Food halls are a booming venture across the country at the moment. Food & Wine senior editor David Landsel has been covering their rather sudden prevalence in places like Tampa and Philadelphia, with some even developing into chains. With so much saturation, chef-backed food halls may be a good PR move, as with José Andrés' Hudson Yards venture. But celebrity-backed ventures have seen some pitfalls, as Anthony Bourdain's multi-cultural food market project was canceled late last year.