Technology is changing the way we dine. It’s obvious in the forms of food-delivery apps and online ordering. But, more subtly, our shift away from physical industry into virtual experience has freed up cavernous buildings that have been dormant for decades. These spaces are reemerging as mixed-use venues, housing businesses, fitness studios, entertainment, shops, and certainly food and drink.
Though the concept of the food hall isn’t new—larger cities have been creating these modern food hubs since the late 1990s—it is relatively new to Greenville. The growth of our city has made development, and reuse, more appealing, while the landscape of culinary culture is ripe for growth. It’s a potent combination, that of visionary developer and visionary chef/food artisan.
The bigger picture of this, though, speaks to how these spaces are changing where and what we eat—like suburbia and shopping malls altered the look of urban centers decades ago. There’s a resurgence of the communal table, and it doesn’t end there. The focus on community and collaborative experience is both the heart and engine forwarding our new (or renewed) food moment.
Simultaneously, there’s a hyper-focus on culinary craft and execution. Chefs are sourcing goods from local producers, and some restaurants have their own farms. Bread artisans, small-batch brewers and distillers, coffee roasters, bartending wizards, and others, thrive here. Through their intentionality and expression, they are amplifying our experience with food and heightening our pleasure. Essentially, they are making this a very delicious place to live.
History is alive and echoing through the walls of these reclaimed spaces, where culinary arts and community interest meld with architectural renaissance. The combination is changing the face of our city, and, with it, our collective experience.
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