Ambitious Food Hall Heading To San Diego's North County

February 24, 2018

An industry professional has targetted a Carlsbad landmark for a new food hall concept. James Markham, creator and founder of such projects as the popular Pieology and Project Pie restaurant chains, plans to open The Windmill Food Hall in Carlsbad’s historic 12,000 square-foot Windmill Building to debut as early as this summer.

Steps from the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, The Windmill Food Hall space, which features a Danish windmill on the 1982-build building visible from the I-5, previously housed a TGI Fridays. Soon it will be the home of 11 food vendors, a childrens area and a full bar with seating for over 300 within an indoor and outdoor space. Some of the vendors with be Markham's own concepts. Expect the venue to be decked out, offering a variety of seating options, outdoor games, firepits and much more. There will also be an advanced single-point payment system where patrons are issued a key fob or bracelet synced to their preferred credit card, which can be swiped at any booth or bar in exchange for items.

"Experiential retail and restaurant concepts will continue to thrive as consumers want choice when dining out," said Bill Shrader, Senior Vice President of Colliers Urban Property Team, which represented both James Markham and the landlord, Carlsbad Properties, Inc. in the deal. "The Windmill Food Hall will deliver an exciting, new concept in one of North County’s iconic buildings."

Founder James Markham - whose JM Concepts has opened numerous projects in the San Diego area, including Doughballs Pizza and Crackheads within Liberty Public Market - owned several Cold Stone Creamery stores before launching Carlsbad-based Knockout Pizza in 1999. He went on to co-found the Seattle-based MOD Pizza in 2008 and later Pieology in Southern California in 2011. These fast-casual build-your-own-pizza concepts have spawned many imitators in a booming segment of the industry. Markham is also working on a drive-through pizza concept in Pacific Beach and Liberty Public Market and has opened two area locations of his sushi-burrito eatery Rolled Up.

The Windmill Food Hall will sit at 890 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad and is expected to open as early as this June.