New Orleans’s iconic Circle Food Store is set to reopen soon, and the revamped version of the city’s first African-American owned and operated grocery store will include a market with fresh produce, a butcher and bakery, and an urgent care and pharmacy in addition to the much-discussed plan for a food hall announced last spring.
According to a report last week by FOX 8, local developer and the building’s co-owner Sidney Torres hopes to open the multi-purpose business within the month. Torres purchased the historic Seventh Ward building at sheriff’s auction last April for $1.7 million, telling NOLA.com at the time that what he had in mind would be “similar to the food hall concept at St. Roch Market on St. Claude Avenue.”
Feedback to the food hall plan was swift, with many on social media expressing concern about the developer creating a “trendy place for rich folks” and its impact on the store’s historic Treme neighborhood.
Torres apparently heard the criticism, telling WWL that “a lot of people had issues with me buying it“ but that “we’re going to honor the history of what was here before.” He also said “it’s going to be the Circle but the Circle on steroids.”
According to WWL, the public is invited to a “soft” opening tentatively scheduled for February 15. Check back with Eater for more details and a look inside.
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