There's long been speculation of the old Lombardi's Seafood building being transformed into a market/food hall but now, it seems it's finally coming to fruition.
Jennifer Crotty, proprietor of flower and garden shop Porch Therapy
in East End Market, is spearheading an effort to bring an East End Market-like operation to the old Lombardi's Seafood space at 1152 Harmon Ave. near the intersection of North Orange and South Orlando avenues.
"It's a concept that reflects our community and all the good stuff that's happening," says Crotty.
"The basis is a retail venue and environment with coffee, plants, and a 'flower bar' with an emphasis on design. We will be selling the work of many local makers and hosting events centered around the community and the curators."
Oh, and "food — good food," she says.
Crotty is in the process of signing on vendors, but she's been in talks with
Hunger Street Tacos, Pizza Bruno and Papa Llama as potential food vendors.
Joe Creech told me he's definitely exploring the idea and is working on securing funding for what would be Hunger Street's second location.
"It wouldn't be Hunger Street Tacos as everyone knows it," says Creech, "but a different concept. The idea we're considering is a Mexican omakase."
Bruno Zacchini of Pizza Bruno
says he's checked out the space and thinks it's "pretty cool," but his involvement in the space would amount to an extended pop-up.
"We have a mobile catering oven we primarily use from October to May, but
things quiet down considerably after that so a May to October pop-up makes sense for us."
Zacchini says he'll limit the offerings to three pizzas — a "greatest hits of
Pizza Bruno" of sorts.
, the Peruvian pop-up, is also poised to move in.
Still, Crotty is reluctant in calling the space a "market" or "food hall."
"The concept will express itself as it comes together, and we're having conversations with some really amazing people to see what feels like the best fit."
The two-and-a-half-year lease, however, is a consideration.
"It's not long-term," Crotty says, "so we hope to share this wonderful property with the neighborhood for as long as we can. The building is, in my eyes, a landmark and unlike anything else in Orlando."
Crotty didn't share a target opening date, but considering the length of the lease, I'd say the sooner the better. Or this summer.
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