There’s an exciting food-centric project underway on Corrine Drive in Orlando's Audubon Park that will house several farmers-market style purveyors, nascent artisans, and established restaurateurs under one roof. Among the tenants expected to be part of the East End Market when it opens early next year are the owners of the popular Spanish River Grill in New Smyrna Beach.
But don’t expect an inland version of SRG. The new restaurant will be named Txokos Kitchen and will feature cuisine of the Basque region. Michele Salgado says the Basque menu at Txokos (pronounced show-kohs) will be different from the Latin-inspired menu at Spanish River, but fans of Henry Salgado’s food will recognize it as his cooking.
Salgado says the name is derived from a time during the Franco regime when many in the Basque region found their customs, language and food festivals taken away. The people would meet in secret underground gastronomic societies. The meetings were called txokos.
Some of the other tenants expected to be part of the commune include:
- Olde Hearth Bread Company: A retail space for the supplier of all things yeasty, which is popular with many restaurants. It will sell artisanal breads, pastries, crackers, granola and sweets.
- Cuts & Craft: A butcher shop from Alexia Gawlak of Slow Food Orlando and her husband, Rhys, who does the charcuterie for the Ravenous Pig. The shop will feature locally sourced, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, and handmade charcuterie.
- Fatto in Casa: Elisa Scarpa will sell freshly prepared Italian foods to go, including sauces, soups, fresh pastas and sweets.
- Local Roots: Fresh local produce, dairy and grocery items.
- Wild Ocean seafood: The first Orlando retail location for the Titusville/Port Canaveral company, selling wild-caught seafood and prepared items.
East End Market is the project of local developer John Rife who saw a need for this type of complex. The market, which will be in a converted baptist church, will feature a four-station commissary kitchen that will allow food entrepreneurs to move up. Another interesting aspect of the market is that it will offer space to small culinary businesses looking to transition out of the “glorified bake sale” status and move to the next level.
Rife explained that the State of Florida’s Cottage Industry Regulations, allows people to make certain food products for sale at farmers markets and other non-professional venues as long as their sales don’t exceed $15,000 annually. They are excluded from selling their products in stores or to restaurants without a licensed kitchen to work from.
East End Market will offer the licensed kitchen space.
The second level of the two-story church will become an event space with a professional open kitchen for groups up to 125 people.
The exterior of the property will feature a 3000 square foot urban farm (or elaborate vegetable garden, if you will) that restaurateurs, including the Salgados, may use for produce. Existing ornamental landscaping, says Rife, will be replaced to “make the landscape as edible as possible.”
Rife says his conservative estimate for the project to be finished is February, 2013, although he expects Txokos to open before the rest of the market.