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In New York, Food Halls Are Becoming Popular


Food halls, where different food sellers gather in one place, are becoming popular in New York City.

The real estate company Cushman & Wakefield says the number of food halls in the United States grew more than 37 percent in the first nine months of 2016. Property developers have even opened food halls inside large apartment buildings.

Todd English, a famous chef, helped the trend begin in New York when he opened Todd English’s Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel in 2010. A food hall called Eataly, which sells mostly Italian food, opened soon after. It is operated by the well-known chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich.

In the last 6 months, four new food halls have opened in New York.

Jonathan Butler is the co-founder of the popular outdoor food market Smorgasburg and the Berg’n food hall, which opened in 2014.

"Food is kind of the new rock and roll -- it’s the thing that the public is just so excited about.”

Butler spoke recently at a conference called “Cities for Tomorrow.” He discussed the difficulties of operating a food hall. The The New York Times newspaper organized the conference .

In large cities like New York, costs a lot to open and operate a restaurant. Food halls give chefs the chance to open a smaller space with less risk.

The food sellers at Berg’n began their careers at outdoor food stands, food trucks or as caterers. Food halls are a way for them to test the popularity of their food without opening a restaurant.

Danie Garcia is general manager at Landhaus which sells food at festivals and outdoor markets. But its only permanent place to sell food is at the Berg’n food hall.

“This gives us a little bit of flexibility because, you know, it’s less maintenance than having an entire restaurant. It’s a little bit easier to manage.”

I’m Caty Weaver.

VOA Correspondent Tina Trinh reported this story from New York. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

rock and roll – n. a kind of music

caterers – n. a business that provides food and drinks at events

flexibility – n. having more than one choice

maintenance – n. the act of keeping property or equipment in good condition by making repairs, correcting problems, etc.

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