Because we are responsible citizens, we are inherently skeptical of any new glossy multi-use development type thing. So it is with no small amount of reserved judgment that we report on the progress of MetraMarket, the “a 100,000-square-foot retail and restaurant development” slated to break ground in the West Loop in a few weeks. The real story here is “holy crap, it is amazing that they secured financing for this in today’s economy of tragedy and woe!” but because this is MenuPages and not EconPages, we are going to focus on the eatables. Per the press release, the complex will include:
A 15,000-square-foot French Market featuring both farmers and resellers selling gourmet and organic foods, such as fresh produce, meat, fish, cheese and baked goods will anchor the development. The market will be developed and managed by Bensidoun USA. The Bensidoun family, one of the largest operators of food markets in France, is responsible for more than 80 similar concepts in and around Paris, 12 outdoor markets in the Chicagoland area as well as other markets across North America.
That’d be, for example, the French Market up near Lincoln Park, which is super-cute but (spoiler!) does not actually sell organic produce, so is kind of a conundrum to us. Still!
“Chicagoans are savvy connoisseurs of fresh and delectable produce and cuisine,” said Sebastien Bensidoun, executive vice president of Bensidoun USA.
Oh Monsieur Bensidoun, you sly fox you. Canned press-release flattery will get you everywhere!
Also in the new MetraMart:
A newer concept modeled after authentic Italian coffee bars, Caffe RoM will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus including specialty coffee drinks, gourmet sandwiches and imported gelato as well as fine wine and beer in the evening. Caffe RoM will occupy 2,900 square feet with access from both Canal Street and Metra’s commuter concourse.
We’ll put dollars to donuts that, just so long as the coffee’s not too expensive and the servers are expedient, this will have impenetrably packed lines every morning until 10am.
Of course, construction hasn’t even started, so check back with us in … a year? Five years? We’re not holding our breath.
[Rendering of MetraMarket storefronts via the official site]