1. Breweries and tacos in old gas stations
When I’m in Dallas later this month I’m hoping to check out BrainDead brewery in Deep Ellum. They will also be opening a Bowls & Tacos spot in 2017 that sounds right up my alley: “The building is an old Gulf [Oil gas] station, and kind of the joke in Dallas is to get a good taco, you’ve got to go to a crappy gas station. So, I went and found a crappy gas station, so I could make good tacos come out” – Sam Wynne, one of the co-owners, tells WFAA. (Pic above)
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first meatless restaurant, abcV, is opening later this month in NYC. I’m especially eager to see what he does with sauerkraut since he is from Alsace and has a passion for fermented veggies. (Pic, lower right:
Marcus Samuelsson of Harlem’s Red Rooster is being brought in by the Gansevoort Hotel Group to run the member’s club at the new Curtain Road Hotel opening in 2017.
Aquavit (Marcus Samuelsson’s former stomping ground) is also opening a branch in London at the new St. James Market with menu overseen by Chef Emma Bengtsson (who got Aquavit NYC 2 Michelin-stars).
Red Farm, one of my absolute favorite Chinese restaurants, is heading to London with location to be announced soon.
Dominique Ansel (the cronut creator) is opening a location of his bakery in Belgravia later this month. Cronuts to be served with a British flava. The bakery will also have a vertical garden to grow fresh herbs for baking.
And finally, Dean & Deluca is making its first foray into Europe after big successes in Asia and the Middle East over the last few years.
Read below for emerging eatery formats driving retail expansion and 4 travel startups focused on food tourism.
Four emerging eatery formats are poised for significant expansion: food trucks, food halls, celebrity-chef restaurants and “grocerants.” These four categories offer many or all of the attributes that appeal to modern diners and shoppers: diversity, convenience, uniqueness, relative affordability and experiential focus.
“We know that the strength of the food-and-beverage category has led to many shopping center owners seeking restaurants as anchor tenants to draw in shoppers, whereas department stores and other retailers previously filled that role,” said David Orkin, executive vice president and restaurant practice leader at CBRE.
VizEat is a social dining mobile app in Europe connecting travelers and local hosts around authentic culinary experiences such as meals, cooking classes and food tours. It has about 20,000 hosts in 100 countries available on its app. It’s also acquired local meal booking app Cookening since it was founded in 2014.
>>SkiftTake: Companies like EatWith using a similar model to VizEat have had a lot of success with both travelers and locals booking private meals in people’s homes. But we have to ask: with a company like Airbnb becoming more popular with travelers and many hosts already cooking for travelers, will Airbnb go deeper into dining at some point?
Velocity is a dining reservations app features a locally curated selection of restaurants in New York City, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. The 1,100-plus available restaurants include New York City’s Blue Hill and Toro restaurants and San Francisco’s Slanted Door and Cala restaurants.
>>SkiftTake: Affluent travelers will be drawn to something like this. Although OpenTable, for example, has also started curating restaurant lists from locals and includes thousands of other options on top of what Velocity currently offers.
Foodie&Tours is an online marketplace specializing in gastronomic tours and culinary experiences in Spain. The company offers walking food tours to enjoy wine and local product tastings, tapas sessions, cooking classes and culinary events.
>>SkiftTake: Foodie&Tours will need to think about scaling if it wants to really reach some potential but starting off in Spain as a food tour company isn’t bad idea given the country’s famed tapas and wine reputation.
RSVP creates lists of pop-up restaurants and events in cities around the world.
>>SkiftTake: Pop-ups are popular in many large, cosmopolitan cities and it’s time there was a common sense way to know about them so that travelers and locals can indulge in their culinary delights.