A long-rumored 12,000-square-foot food hall has been announced for the DuPont Building in downtown Wilmington.DE.CO will bring chef’s kitchens and a central bar to the downtown landmark.
Food halls have sprouted up around the country as lunch and dinner dining options. The Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia has elements of a food hall. Wilmington also has the Riverfront Market on the south end of downtown.
“DE.CO will offer guests a thoughtful selection of cuisines from the mid-Atlantic and around the world, while serving as the first chef-driven food hall in the state of Delaware,” a release stated.
Located at 10th and Orange Streets, also the home of the Hotel duPont., the food hall is is a $3.5 million collaboration between developers The Buccini/Pollin Group and Seawall Development. The space is slated to open late this year.
DE.CO will be an anchor for a ground floor that will include retail shops and artisan boutiques. The project is part of the $150 million redevelopment of the historic DuPont Building.
The building will also house the headquarters for Chemours Co.
Built in 1908, the DuPont Building was the first high-rise in Wilmington.
“With DE.CO, we’re debuting a new community in the heart of Wilmington: a collective that will offer guests unparalleled selection and diversity, all in one comfortable, central location.,” says Buccini/Pollin’s Chris Buccini. “Wilmington is a thriving, energetic metropolis and this community-driven food hall will be the heartbeat of a young, vibrant city.”
DE.CO (an abbreviated version of “Delaware Collective”) is a place for creative chefs to launch new and exciting restaurant ideas, and is currently accepting applications from chefs, whether for their first “storefront” or as a means of developing a new concept, a release stated.
Each of the eight chefs will operate from one of the kitchens within the food hall, and guests will be able to visit each kitchen and order directly.
Diners can visit each stall as a group or order from different stalls, then enjoy their food together at tables throughout the space or at the atrium bar, serving cocktails, wine and beer.
“Wilmington’s newly thriving food scene is reaching a turning point, and DE.CO’s convenient location at the heart of the dynamic mid-Atlantic makes it a magnet for culinary talent that will draw locals and visitors alike downtown,” stand Seawall’s Peter DiPrinzio, who developed Baltimore’s food hall, R. House. “DE.CO will feel like a lively restaurant and bar, and will serve as a gathering place throughout the day in into the night: for coffee with friends, a lunch meeting among co-workers, date night for couples or weekend brunch with the whole family.”
DE.CO will be open seven days a week, including weekend brunches and evenings at the atrium bar.
Additional details, including all eight chef tenants and their menus, will be announced as the project nears completion.
“We hope that visitors and locals alike will think of DE.CO as a ‘third space’ – not their home; not their office; but a fun place to dine, drink and mingle comfortably,” stated Buccini. “The communal feel of hosting eight different chefs will extend to all aspects of DE.CO, making it a gathering place for all in the heart of downtown Wilmington and extending the city’s ongoing renaissance with a bright new anchor in a beautiful, historic building.”
Those interested can sign up here for updates.