Six vendors have already signed letters of interest to rent space in the new food hall at Barrie's proposed year-round permanent Public Market.
On a recently launched website, the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA), outlines early stakeholder support and a detailed vision of the venue.
The Farmhouse Restaurant, J'Adore Fine Cheese and Chocolate, Homestead Artisan Bakery, Redline Brewhouse, Barrie Farmers' Market and The Noodle House have committed to be part of the concept, according to the website.
The marketplace would be built on the site of the Maple Ave. transit terminal and feature at least 12 food stalls and communal seating in an 8,000 square feet space.
“The food terminal is the next catalytic project in our Brand Action Plan. The Downtown Barrie Business Assocation is excited to spearhead this development in the west end," said Craig Stevens, Managing Director of the BIA.
"We see it providing not only creative food and beverage experiences, but also future additional meeting space capacity and a novel event venue for entertainment and events. We expect the market to attract increased foot traffic to the west end, attract new visitors and offer a new attraction that continues to make Downtown Barrie a destination for residents and tourists alike."
The venue will provide a test market for established chefs to try new menu items as well as an entry point for food entrepreneurs.
"Start up costs are low – no restaurant overhead, just a food stall, some kitchen equipment and shared space costs. The design is simple to keep the focus on the food," the website reads.
"Oysters, Ramen, Jerk Chicken, New York style bagels, Texas donuts – where else can you get food like this under one roof? " the site states. "An exciting, new craft beer tap house on the Lakeshore side will feature a patio that provides an amazing view of the water."
The attraction is described as 'think farmers’ market meets upscale food hall.'
The main floor will house the food hall and a new entrepreneurial hub called the Sandbox will be located on the second floor of the terminal.
The Barrie Farmers’ Market will move to a new 7,500 square foot building on the west side of the property.
The website lists five reasons downtown Barrie needs a public market: foodie's delight, support local, building community, supporting entrepreneurs and fostering the creative economy.
The Public Market is projected to attract about 600,000 visits each year.
The venue is expected to be the 'west end anchor' due to its close proximity to the waterfront and the new transient boat slips.
In January, city council confirmed plans to hire a consultant team for about $100,000 for the project - the next step in making the market a reality.
For more details visit barriepublicmarket.ca.