Andrew Zimmern to lead a 'first-of-its-kind' food hall in downtown Minneapolis

It's set to open in mid-2019.

Downtown Minneapolis is officially getting a trendy food hall, led by none other than Andrew Zimmern.

Minnesota's culinary king has signed on as the first tenant of The Dayton's Project – a $250 million makeover of the historic Dayton's building on Nicollet Mall that, when finished, will include offices, retail stores, a gym, a library and the food hall. 

According to a press release from developers, The Dayton's Food Hall and Market will be a "mix of well-known food vendors, local treasures, fresh food purveyors, and food makers creating a market that will be the first of its kind in the Twin Cities." 

It'll occupy 40,000 square feet of space, split between the first and second floors of the old Dayton's building, and is slated to open in mid-2019.

Zimmern is hoping to create a food adventure similar to many European food halls and markets, where visitors can sample food from local vendors and shop for things like fresh meat and seafood, artisanal cheeses and fresh baked goods from local purveyors. 

The food hall is a trend Eater says has "spread from coast to coast like wildfire" in recent years, and something Zimmern told Mpls.St. Paul Magazine he's been waiting to bring to town.

"The great food halls around the world and domestically, that have become destination, must-visit venues have been in downtown settings. Reading Market in Philly, Grand Central in LA, West Side in Cleveland – all have 100 year histories in urban areas and have become synonymous with their cities. You can't visit the city without a stop at the market," he said.

Zimmern's partner on the project is Robert Montwaid, who created and co-founded Gansevoort Market in New York City.

St. Paul has its own food hall in the works: Keg and Case Market, a $10 million food hall and marketplace development in the old Schmidt Brewery Keg House. 

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