City Food Hall with 10 restaurants, Topgolf simulators to open at Destin Commons spring 2022
What do you call 10 chefs working under one roof? Destin’s first City Food Hall.
Set to open in Destin Commons next spring, City Food Hall will showcase 10 specialty restaurant concepts offering food and drinks, an expansive indoor/outdoor bar, two Topgolf full swing simulators with a variety of multi-sports games, several HDTVs and comfortable lounge seating, according to a news release.
City Food Hall is the brainchild of founders Peter Rounce and Kenzie Motai, who have opened a food hall concept in Miami, New Orleans, Chicago and Jackson, Mississippi, to name a few.
However, they never gave opening one in Destin a thought until they visited the area.
“Destin never stuck out to us on the radar,” Rounce said.
Rounce said they even talked with Destin Commons for the longest time and had no interest.
“Then we got on a plane … flew up to Destin and fell in love,” he said.
After seeing it and being here, “How can we not?” he added.
“It has that small-town charm, but on a higher level. It’s such a warm, welcoming place and we fell in love with it,” said Rounce, who is from a small town in the Bahamas. “So we went from having no interest, to being excited.” .
Rounce says he loves the “whole Destin vibe … the fishing thing, the beach thing. The whole Destin vibe has a lot of synergy with who we are as individuals, which is reflected in our brand.”
His business partner Motai is just as excited.
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“Absolutely we’re excited to be in Destin Commons. ... It’s an amazing destination,” Motai said.
"The concept is really to highlight what the city has to offer under one roof,” he said.
“We always like to work with as many local chefs as possible so we can highlight them,” Motai added.
NOT A MALL FOOD COURT
The food hall will not have national franchise brands.
“We like to find that up-and-coming chef in Destin. One with a food truck or maybe doing pop-ups at a farmer’s market … give them the opportunity,” Motai said.
As a matter of fact, he and Rounce were in town just a few weeks ago and headed to 30A to check out some of the trucks.
“We give them a platform to try their brands out at very little risk,” Motai said.
After the pandemic, it’s expensive to open up a restaurant and sign a long lease. That’s where City Food Hall comes in.
"That's what makes us unique; everything is set up,” he said.
Motai said they build out a full kitchen in the back and vendors can cook all day long.
“We build out the vendors' stall in the front which is also equipped,” Motai said. “You can come in and start operating in less than a week. ... You just have to set up your menus.
“We want to give those trucks a more permanent location without the burden of opening a full stand-alone,” he added.
However, it isn't just about food.
"We don’t just look for good food, we look for good people as well,” Rounce said.
“I would take a good person who cooks OK over someone who is an amazing chef but not a good person. It’s building community... that’s what important,” he said.
TOPGOLF AND MULTI SPORTS
Rounce and Motai are avid golfers, and brought their clubs along when they visited Destin.
City Food Hall will have two Topgolf Swing Suites for the novices and aspiring pros. The suites include a massive screen and other multi-sport games.
The full swing golf simulator technology is the same simulator used by PGA Tour pros for off-course practice.
“Golf enthusiasts can develop their swing and challenge their friends, all while enjoying a cocktail, craft beer and delicious food,” Rounce said in the news release.
“And they can catch the game on one of our HDTV’s. We believe City Food Hall will become one of Destin’s top culinary and nightlife destinations,” he added.
City Food Hall at Destin Commons will be in a 14,000- square-foot space next to the Foot Locker.
For more information, visit cityfoodhall.com or email email@example.com.