Food halls: Redesigning the dining experience

Once upon a time, Americans actually left their houses to shop. But with the rise of online shopping, thousands of brick-and-mortar retail stores have closed – and some developers are hoping to fill that empty space by filling eager bellies.

“Even if you’ve been here 10 times, you walk in and you’re discovering something different,” said Phil Colicchio, a consultant with the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, as he led correspondent Faith Salie through a food hall.

“How is a food hall different than a food court that we’d find in a mall or an airport?” Salie asked.

“The food court was never really designed to give you an experience of any kind,” Colicchio replied. “It wasn’t designed to make you say, ‘Wow.’ In a food hall, all your senses should get activated. Lots of variety, lots of artisanality.”

“What is artisanality?” asked Salie. “Does that mean ‘fancy’?”

“No,” Colicchio said. “You know what? It means ‘not corporate.'”

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