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Friday, February 28, 2020

Detroit's Fort Street Galley food hall abruptly closes Friday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 7:53 AM

click to enlarge Fort Street Galley. - KATIE LASKOWSKA
  • Katie Laskowska
  • Fort Street Galley.

After a little more than a year in business, the operators of downtown Detroit's Fort Street Galley food hall announced it will permanently close at the end of the day on Friday.

The Pittsburgh-based company that operates Fort Street Galley confirmed the closure to the Detroit Free Press. Galley Group is also confirmed that its Cleveland outpost will close Friday, and Chicago's closed last fall.

"There were various factors that led to this difficult outcome, among them the decision to scale back our operations nationwide and focus energy on our flagship locations in Pittsburgh & Minneapolis," Chad Ellingboe, vice president of operations for Galley Group, said in a statement.

When it opened in 2018, Fort Street Galley described itself as a "restaurant accelerator" with a nontraditional model. Instead of just charging its vendors rent, it took 30 percent of each restaurant's revenue in exchange for covering business expenses beyond food and labor.

But the writing appeared to be on the wall, with some vendors shuttering before their year-long lease was up for not hitting their sales goals, like sandwich shop Allenby and sushi shop Pursue.

"In hindsight, with the incubator-style concept that 30% is really a killer," JP Garcia of Filipino stall Isla told the Freep. "That’s what took down most of the stalls that were here. I’ve worked the stall every single day since day one. And that was probably the only way I was able to survive, because I could control those labor costs."
The food hall trend has taken off in recent years. In Detroit, there's also the Detroit Shipping Co. in Midtown and the Monroe Market in Greektown Casino-Hotel.

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