(Photo Holly Quinn)
Finally, we have names.
DECO, the downtown food hall opening on the first floor of the DuPont Building, officially announced the eateries that will have stalls when they open next month — and it’s an impressive mix of some of the region’s hottest food entrepreneurs serving up foods that, in some cases, can’t currently be found downtown.
Here they are, including the inaugural pop-up resident:
- Pizzeria Bardea — Market Street’s Bardea Food + Drink, which opened in September 2018, was recently honored with a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant. It didn’t make the final round, but that doesn’t make it less of a big deal in a small city like Wilmington. Bardea will have a DECO stall where it’ll serve Neopolitan-inspired pies and farm-to-table salads.
- Al Chu’s Sushi — The legendary Mikimoto’s sushi chef Al Chu is back after relocating to Maryland. He’ll be bringing his sushi to DECO. Poke, too (a food trend that has been noticeably lacking downtown).
- Spark’d — The DuPont Building is connected to the Hotel du Pont, with its famous Bake Shop, so a creative spinoff at DECO makes perfect sense. Executive Pastry Chef Leah Steinberger and co. will offer pastries and other baked goods, along with La Colombe coffee.
- Connie’s Chicken & Waffles — With two locations in Baltimore, the popular Connie’s will launch their first out-of-state location at DECO.
- Phubs — From Hanover, Maryland, this Vietnamese joint will finally bring bahn mi sandwiches and pho to downtown Wilmington.
- The Verandah — Also from Baltimore, The Verandah will be serving Indian street food, including samosas, kebab wraps and chaats.
- Stripp’d — Philly entrepreneurs will serve up healthy choices like smoothies, salads and acai bowls.
- Locale BBQ — For a limited time, Wilmington’s neighborhood BBQ joint, located on Lincoln Street in Little Italy, will be serving sandwiches and sides at the DECO pop-up stall. (Food & drink entrepreneurs interested in a future slot at the pop-up should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
So far, DECO, which will be managed by Constitution Yards Beer Garden operators Imian Partners, has hired about 100 local people to work various jobs at the food hall, according to Peter DiPrinzio, cofounder of DECO and Baltimore’s R. House.
DECO is part of a DuPont Building renovation project by Buccini-Pollin that will include converting vacant office space into residences.-30-
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