To create a food hall-like experience for customers, Whole Foods Market’s 70,000-square-foot store in Atlanta showcases four eateries. The space, which is created to sell more than only supermarket items, also features a rooftop experience, Chain Store Age reported, and is the chain's 500th store.
Whole Foods Market South Region President Bobby Turner said, according to the outlet, “Whole Foods Market Midtown will be a true gathering space for the community.” Turner continued, “We worked hard to create a place that offers our neighbors a destination to get together, enjoy great food and connect with members of the local community through a variety of culinary, wellness and cultural events.”
The store’s rooftop Canopy Court, for instance, has stadium seating, televisions and games along with a food truck that offers a rotating food menu, beers and wines. Another eatery, 14th Street Bar, features a private dining balcony and a screened porch. Shoppers can choose from an assortment of local beers, soft drinks and wines there. The store also has a full-service espresso and coffee bar and a Farm Burger eatery is scheduled for a summer opening. That eatery’s menu has a focus on grass-fed, grass-finished and locally sourced beef burgers along with other items.
Beyond the eateries, the Atlanta Whole Foods has lettuce wrap and avocado toast bars along with a skillet bar, among other features. The store also has a “fruit and vegetable butcher” along with detox juice bar and a floral shop. The store is also set to host social, health and wellness and culinary community events. The news comes amid a boom in food halls, with the number of such facilities poised to increase.
While there were only 25 American food halls in 2010 per reports, there are expected to be 200 food halls in the U.S. by 2020. Eataly, for instance, had 35 locations and plans for several additional food halls in the coming years. The company has locations in cities like cities such as Boston, and Los Angeles, New York, among others. And the Ballston Quarter shopping mall is said to have 25,000 square feet “mostly dedicated to local vendors” that has been described as a food hall.