Carlsbad's Incoming Windmill Food Hall Finalizes List Of Vendors

June 12, 2018

The iconic windmill building off the I-5 freeway in San Diego's North County has been repainted from its tattered white and sky blue to a sleek black with white trim, and construction is underway for a late summer unveiling. Carlsbad's Windmill Food Hall will be a 14,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor gathering space with 11 restaurant vendors, a central bar, games, and frequent events. The lineup of eateries has been finalized, and future guests can expect gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Korean fried chicken, lobster rolls, tacos, Thai food, rolled ice-cream, sushi burritos, pizza, and much more!

Developed by serial restarateur James Markham - known as a founder of such international chains as Pieology, Project Pie and MOD Pizza - the Windmill Food Hall is being built within the space that last housed TGI Friday's at 890 Palomar Road in Carlsbad. In addition to eleven food vendors, the space will also house a central, 50-seat bar with vintage arcade games, lawn games, Skee-Ball machines, fireplaces and outdoor seating. The building will also eventually house a 60-seat, Chicago-style second floor speakeasy bar. Part of the 150-room Carlsbad By The Sea Hotel, which was purchased last year by RAR Hospitality and is currently in the middle of a more than $1 million refresher, The Windmill Food Hall is anticipated to open to the public by early August.

The eleven initial vendors span the globe with their culinary offerings. San Diego's own Bread and Cheese, who is currently raising money on Kickstarter to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, will offer gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Convoy's Cross Street Chicken & Beer will be frying up Korean-style fried chicken. Encinitas' Lobster West will be slinging award-winning lobster rolls and other seafood sandwiches. A spin-off of the Carlsbad's El Puerto Mexican & Seafood, Taco Lady will be stacking up gourmet street tacos. Another Convoy Street sensation, Bing Haus will bring its Thai-style rolled ice cream and other desserts to the new food hall. Thai-Style Kitchen will serve traditional Thai dishes from the owners behind Lotus Thai restaurant in Carlsbad. Markham is also working with Convoy's Friend's House restaurant to bring a Korean hot pot concept into the space, as well as looking for a local burger company to join the mix. Another food station may be constructed just for short term pop-ups by area chefs and restaurants.

Three of James Markham's own concepts will round out the food vendor lineup. Crackheads will dish out elevated breakfast sandwiches and fresh brewed coffee. Doughballs Pizza will bake woodfired, made-to-order personal pizzas. Lastly, Rolled Up will serve build-your-own and signature sushi and poke burritos. Miniature outposts of Rolled Up and Crackheads are also being installed in Carlsbad Village within Markham's incoming The Village Yard project, also set to open this summer.

Windmill Food Hall will embrace current technological advances and offer online ordering with the ability for curbside pickup and delivery, as well as a single-point payment system where patrons will be issued a bracelet synced to their credit card that they can use to purchase at any vendor.

Food halls are all the rage right now. The Liberty Public Market, which opened in late 2015, is currently thriving in San Diego's Point Loma, with new tenants currently installing within the market. Also in development in San Diego are two other food halls - the Little Italy Food Hall, set to open this summer in Little Italy's newly minted Piazza della Famiglia, and Park Commons, a 10,000 square-foot, multi-concept food hall and event space being constructed in Sorrento Valley by San Diego's Whisknladle Hospitality Group.