CARLSBAD — The iconic Windmill in the city is starting to take shape on the inside.
The building is being transformed into the Windmill Food Hall with the recent announcement of eight vendors servicing the hall.
James Markham, the brainchild behind the concept, visited and researched food halls all over the country to conceptualize his own unparalleled spin on the trend. The interior will include vintage 1930’s-40’s era inspired and authentic elements and artwork for patrons.
As for the vendors Bing Haus and Up2You Café, two Asian-style dessert brands will be in the lineup, along with Markham’s own Crackheads, featuring breakfast, sandwiches and specialty coffee.
Joining them will be Cross Street Chicken & Beer, Doughballs Pizza, Rolled Up (build-your-own burritos), Taco Lady and Thai Style Kitchen.
The Windmill Food Hall will incorporate a vast amount of traditional bar seating, an outdoor area and a room called The Library with relaxed, communal seating and a central fireplace. Family-friendly games will be scattered throughout the day-to-night destination, including an interactive green screen, ping pong, and lawn games.
The space encompasses 12,000 square feet inside and an additional 2,000 square feet of outdoor space, which will be used as part of the food hall. Markham, in an interview in March, said operation is expected to begin this month.
He said the location is ideal with proximity to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, Car Country Carlsbad and one of the busiest thoroughfares in the county at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Palomar Airport Road.
The number of food halls in the U.S. hit 100 last year, and experts predict that number will more than double by 2019.
At his core, though, Markham is an innovator and this new opportunity is another avenue to push the boundaries of the food service industry. He said the space, which is large, will also be able to host gatherings such as big events, dance lessons, a singles night and catering to large parties.
Markham will also introduce two of his own new concepts, sushi burritos and Crackheads, a breakfast and gourmet coffee site in the base of the windmill.
“People are looking for variety, but also something communal,” Markham said. “You want stuff where kids can do their thing. We are going to touch everybody’s palate. We are just going to be doing some very cool stuff that makes it more fun and more funky.”
In addition, Markham opened another Crackheads location at the corner of State Street and Carlsbad Village Drive, along with a full-service bar in a pair of container boxes adjacent to Choice Juicery.