Foodie Friday: 4 Innovative Retailers Reinventing Dining

terrain at night

When you think of fresh and healthy, chef-driven, exceptional dining experiences, you probably don’t think about shopping for things like furniture, cars, and gardening tools. Yet several companies have changed the retail scene with unique, high-end food choices for their shoppers.

Today’s Foodie Friday takes a closer look at these pioneers of bringing a gourmet element to your next retail adventure.

 

Porsche in Atlanta makes buying a car a gourmet excursion.

If you’re in Atlanta and in the market for a luxury automobile, why not enjoy a delicious meal after you browse the showroom floor? The Porsche Experience Center houses an upscale contemporary venue called Restaurant 365 on the second floor. The menu features dishes that showcase local and regional ingredients, and there’s a robust wine list and cocktail selection for the perfect meal pairing.

Dinner items include classics like filet of ribeye and sea scallops as well as unexpected choices like gallo pinto (coconut milk-infused bean fried rice with marinated tofu) and wiener schnitzel.

restaurant 365

Chicago’s Restoration Hardware stores pair elegant home decor with chef-driven dining.

In Chicago, Restoration Hardware has partnered with Hogsalt Hospitality to create a truly extraordinary space in the historic Three Arts Club. Though it serves an extensive menu—including breakfast items, cold-pressed juices, tea service, wine and beer, desserts, entrees and more—there are few clues that this 101-year-old space is a restaurant. Without obvious bartenders and waitstaff and no specially designated eating areas, this project blurs the lines between artistic showcase, culinary hospitality, and guest engagement.

True to their moniker, RH truly restored what had once been the site of a women’s art school but had fallen fallow and stood untouched as a relic of the Gold Coast’s earlier years. The result is a thoughtfully curated, elevated-residential experience. Guests are invited to peruse the upstairs art gallery, lounge in the various living areas, and—naturally—purchase any of the beautiful Restoration Hardware design elements that catch their eye.

rh chicago

Target moves away from stadium-style snack foods to accommodate the health-conscious customer.

Move over, popcorn and hot dogs—several Target stores are testing new food concepts, including salad-and-smoothie-centric Freshii and Minneapolis-based D’Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen locations. The Italian cafe and Freshii menus offer a wide variety of lighter-fare options for the retailer’s key demographic—boutique shoppers who prioritize their dietary health.

Much of the existing Target culture is already based in the fun of casually browsing aisles of everything from cosmetics to clothing to furniture to cleaning supplies to electronics, so upscaling the food choices for recreational shoppers is a genius move on the retailer’s part. The promise of an appealing dining experience encourages them to linger even longer and enjoy more reasons to make a leisurely Target run.

target freshii

Artsy lifestyle gardeners can appreciate farm-fresh cuisines while they stock up on supplies.

Terrain, a cottage-dwelling gardener’s dream destination, has created an idyllic and homey cafe at their Philadelphia-area store in Glen Mills, PA.  Aimed at showcasing farmers’-market-fresh seasonal ingredients from nearby farms, Terrain partners with a local CSA and serves up flavorful dishes in a space with invitingly rustic, greenhouse ambiance. Guests can enjoy brunch daily and dinner Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

terrain

It’s exciting to think of the possibilities the future holds for creative partnerships between culinary artists and retailers. Go enjoy some delicious collaboration this weekend, and Happy Foodie Friday!

And, of course, for something a little weird…

abc kitchen

Perhaps the least expected place to find fancy food would be a carpet store, yet ABC Carpet and Home in New York has a high-end dining concept to complement their designer home furniture and accents called ABC Kitchen. With acclaimed Michelin star-awarded Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the helm, this in-store restaurant serves farm-to-table cuisine free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs, that is sourced naturally and humanely from regional farmers and fair-trade cooperatives. Next time you’re shopping in New York City, stop by and enjoy a world-class meal from these leaders in the slow-food movement!

(Sources: Baum + WhitemanSpecialty Food Association)

Posted in: Food and Drink, Food Experiences, Food Trends, Foodie Friday

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