Columbus food hall Trolley District targets December opening

Helena V Berbie
The Trolley District, a $25-million redevelopment of the city's old trolley car facilities near Franklin Park, is expected to start opening in early December.

Equipment delays have pushed back the opening of the first phase of the Trolley District, the long-awaited Near East Side food, office and entertainment development.

The district’s East Market food hall is now expected to open in early December, months after its August target date.

“We’ve had to make some changes to some electrical and plumbing to accommodate a few tenants, but the largest setback is just waiting on kitchen equipment,” said Brad DeHays, owner of the Trolley District’s developer, Connect Realty.

DeHays said the project, just south of Franklin Park, is awaiting 40 three-compartment commercial sinks ordered in May or June. The sinks are scheduled to be delivered in mid-November.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “We ordered everything at once and those sinks are still on back order. … We can’t just go out and buy something like that.” 

The market now expects to open in early December, and has started taking reservations for holiday parties. 

On the good news side, DeHays said all 20 stalls in the market building have been spoken for, although some prospects who have not signed leases may change. In all, 15 tenants are expected to occupy the stalls.

Workers divide the inside of the Trolley District's East Market building into stalls in this May photo.

Butcher and Grocer will occupy five stalls with a butcher shop, fish monger, cheese shop, green grocery and beer and wine shop.

Other tenants to sign leases include: Macho Taco, Yellow Brick Pizza, Plant Gays, Koso Korean street food, Trolley Barn Chicken, Creole 2 Geaux, American Nut Co., Railhouse bar and Switch speakeasy.

The supply chain shortages are the latest challenge in a project that has been full of them. 

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