Another small industrial space, full of small stalls and eateries is looking to make its home in Long Beach, in the Bixby Knolls community. Named Steelcraft for the giant shipping containers that the businesses will be housed in, this food hall is a whole new world for Long Beach, but is a trend that has been increasing across the states from California to New York.
What Is A Food Hall?
A “food hall”, as they have come to be known, is typically a collection of small eateries and handicrafts in a building together. Many of these can be found inside mill conversions or other warehouse spaces that have been renovated into shopping centers. These one stop food shops are cropping up all over the country, with multiple locations opening along the west coast just over the last few years. An easily recognizable example of this is Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, home of the original Starbucks. Los Angeles has been a player in this industry for a long time as well, with its historical Grand Central Market being a hive of restaurants and vendors to the downtown area and the Original Farmers’ Market in Beverly Grove.
These differ from traditional malls in that they are typically a collective of small privately owned businesses, usually local and handmade. With an increasing interest in the value of community business and culture, food halls offer several options in different price ranges for visitors and regulars, and are often designed to encourage people to stay and relax on the property, making them a natural draw for the neighborhood. Food halls are especially popular with millennials in their 20’s and 30’s, who are already pointedly spending more on food amenities than other demographics.
What A Food Hall Means For Us Locally
Bixby Knolls’ Steelcraft will mark Long Beach’s first foray into food halls, including vendors like Working Class Kitchen, Smog City Brewing Co., Waffle Love, Steelhead Coffee, Blooms by Brooke and Tajima Ramen within its shipping containers. Bixby Knolls has quickly become one of the trendiest areas of Long Beach, a favorite with locals that competes easily with downtown and Belmont Shores. We’re looking forward to what it will mean for our own community, and the possible success of Steelcraft opening up opportunities for similar food halls in downtown and other Long Beach neighborhoods. You can look for Steelcraft to open in late September, so just a handful of weeks left to wait.
Want to do a little weekend exploration and try a food hall for yourself? Here’s some of the contenders in Los Angeles and Orange County:
Los Angeles County: