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Bistro Market space to get new life as food hall

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Two business partners are planning a food and beverage hall at the former Bistro Market downtown.

Good Spirits Concepts LLC owners Joshua Widner and Jim Wilson are targeting a September opening for their 401 South Ave. concept called Blackwell Hall, according to information provided via email by Wilson. 417 Magazine first reported on the plans.

The Blackwell Hall plans comprise roughly 10,000 square feet of interior space for 10-15 local and regional food, beverage and retail vendors.

The information packet provided by Wilson indicates Starbucks will continue to operate inside the store. Starbucks stayed on board after Pyramid Foods’ downtown liquor and grocery store Bistro Market closed in summer 2017.

Other contracted vendors, which are not named, would operate a market concierge/convenience store and a bar/package store. The business partners are looking for other vendors to provide frozen custard, Kansas City-style barbecue, pizza, Austin-style tacos, sushi burritos, ramen, bagels, a butcher shop, produce and flowers, according to the packet. The vendors would share seating and other services.

The packet calls the European-style concept a “grown-up, more-diverse cousin of the mall food court.” Food halls, according to the packet, totaled 105 in the United States in 2016 and are projected to double by 2019. A food hall has been among suggested uses along Kearney Street, where city of Springfield officials are attempting to revitalize the area.

Morris Dock, who owns the 401 South Ave. building downtown, said Good Spirits Concepts is close to finalizing the lease for the space. He said Good Spirits would sublease space to its vendors. Dock declined to disclose lease terms.

For Good Spirits Concepts, Widner brings experience as owner and operator of two Scotch & Soda ventures in downtown Springfield and Bentonville, Arkansas, as well as Cherry Picker Package X Fare in the Rountree neighborhood. Wilson is a principal at private investment company Ingress Investments.

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Bob Clinkenbeard

This is a cool concept. I went to one of these in Portland, Oregon. http://www.pinestreetpdx.com/

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