Fort Street Galley food hall closing abruptly in downtown Detroit
The Galley Group has not stated why it is closing, but said in a statement that it is part of a nationwide downsizing.
“There were several factors that led to this difficult outcome, including the decision to reduce our operations nationwide and focus our energy on our flagship sites in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis,” said Chad Ellingboe, vice president of operations for the company. in an email to Crain. “We really appreciate the support of our guests and the community during our time in Detroit, perhaps most memorable of all is the opportunity to offer Detroit-style pizza outside of the state. We wish our family all the best in Detroit.”
The dining room should host a rotation of restaurateurs serving fast-casual fare with a large bar in the center of community-style seating. The company said it spent $ 2 million to open the 8,646-square-foot concourse in Bedrock LLC’s Federal Reserve Building at 160 W. Fort St.
The Fort Street Galley was intended to be a downtown worker lunch spot while also appealing to the nighttime crowd. However, problems arose soon after it opened – most noticeably, the food stalls were cleared ahead of the company’s planned year-long sweet spot.
The popular Lucky’s Noble BBQ in October was the third to leave the hall. A few months earlier, the company tried to rename its bar to attract more nightlife.
While the concept seems to be playing well in Pittsburgh and Minnesota, it never got stuck in Detroit or anywhere else. The company’s Cleveland location will close almost parallel to Detroit Hall, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. The Chicago site closed after just five months last year.
JP Garcia, the 38-year-old owner of the Japanese booth Isla, said his goal when it opens is to start a brick and mortar store. When he saw his colleagues leave the hall and add their own numbers at the end of the night, he knew the concept of the high-end cafeteria wouldn’t last long.
“It was a mixed feeling for me to look at the scene and know the numbers that were going through here. It had to happen,” he said. “Getting that confirmation on Tuesday was kind of a surprise, but it was like something we knew in the back of our minds that this business couldn’t keep up.”
The main pressure point is the Galley Group’s fee for food stalls: 30 percent of all sales. This fee gave the restaurateurs space in the hall, including kitchen equipment as well as maintenance and support staff. Several other vendors have agreed that the Galley Group’s cut was too steep.
The company’s small business start-up goal was for Kristen Calverley, 38, who ran Peggys in the hall with her husband Nathan Peck Square.
“We’re much better off than other staff and restaurants because our last day should be tomorrow anyway,” she said. “(We) announced earlier this month that we would be leaving.”
Square Peggys opened in the hall as a Sicilian pizza concept in December before the couple opened a pizza place in Michigan & Trumbull in Corktown a month ago. Calverley said they are shifting the focus directly to the stationary location.
However, her business began in Pittsburgh, where the Galley Group selected her for their restaurant incubator. After two years, they set up the loan to get a small business management loan to open a restaurant in their hometown.
“Restaurants are a cutthroat business,” Calverley said. “Some succeed. Others fail. It’s just kind of nature, you know.”
The 26-year-old Ash Hijazi enjoyed his last meal in the hall on Friday, where he has been regularly with his colleagues from the Detroit architecture firm NORR for seven months.
“It wasn’t very busy, but it was never empty,” he said. “It’s convenient. I liked the variety of the menu.”