Though most New Yorkers know the company Urbanspace for its food halls, it actually started out when founder Eldon Scott set up the Grand Central and Union Square holiday markets in 1993. Now, the company has holiday markets in Columbus Circle and Bryant Park, runs seasonal pop-up food markets like those at Madison Square and the Garment District, and has expanded to DC and Chicago. Scott smartly opened his first permanent food market, Urbanspace Vanderbilt, in 2015 adjacent to Grand Central, and in 2017, opened another at Lexington Avenue and 51st Street. Back in January, Urbanspace announced another Midtown location on 52nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, and just yesterday, Commercial Observer reported that they’d open their fourth location just two blocks away on 50th Street.
A new food pop-up at Chelsea Market will provide temporary rent-free space for culinary entrepreneurs, Tue, May 28, 2019
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The East Harlem-based culinary nonprofit Hot Bread Kitchen has opened a new pop-up space in Chelsea Market that will host a rotating cast of alums from its incubator program, which provides training and low-cost kitchen rental facilities to culinary entrepreneurs. Up first is Gorsha, a fast-casual Ethiopian restaurant from Hiyaw Gebreyohannes, which will take residence in the space through October 31st. As the WSJ first reported, this reflects a new trend among food halls who are offering rent-free spaces to food startups in exchange for fresh flavors and ideas.
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Today, flea markets, pop-up shops, and food halls are an everyday part of city life, but 25 years ago, this wasn’t the case. In 1993, after working for several years at Urban Space Management in the UK, Eldon Scott arrived in NYC with the goal of opening a holiday market similar to those he’d worked on developing in London. He quickly set up the Grand Central Holiday Fair and shortly thereafter the Union Square Holiday Market. Modeled loosely on Christkindlmarkts, traditional holiday street markets held during advent that began in Germany, the Union Square market is now a holiday tradition for New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike, with 150+ vendors.