Summertime launch for HoH Food Hall Hull
The chance to create a vibrant mix of artisanal food halls combining dining, organic grocery, retail food, music and culture was an opportunity not to be missed.
The community-driven concept supports local producers, growers, makers and bakers, and has been curated by food and beverage expert Des McDonald to deliver a dynamic and unique food driven experience direct to the high street.
Due to open in summer 2021, the ‘HoH Food Hall’ in Hull, Yorkshire will be the first of four department store and retail developments across the UK, with more in the pipeline.
The first site, which was formally a House of Fraser single-use department store in the centre of Hull in the east of England, fell into administration in 2018. As one of the most iconic buildings in the city centre, and a landmark rich in heritage, the development company RoK Operations realised its potential and the importance it has within the city.
12 months later, following little interest from the property market and its institutional agents, the city of Hull was left with a vacant shell.
A bold move ensued to revolutionise the space and the RoK Ops Team, with the support of the landlord, began an ambitious refurbishment and regeneration plan. The operations company have worked 24/7 over the last two years to create an exciting concept that will give the city centre a new lease of life.
Latest developments include the appointment of coveted F&B guru Des McDonald of Des McDonald Associates to help drive forward the Food Hall and artisan market into a unique offer.
With extensive experience in F&B and more than 35 years in hospitality, including an impressive track record of developing, opening and operating over 150 restaurants, bars, cafes and coffee shops, Des will ensure consistent quality and innovation as the project progresses.
He has the distinction of having opened one of the original Ivy restaurants, Soho House and the world-famous Annabel’s nightclub, and has an impressive portfolio of restaurants across America, Europe and the Middle East, including Selfridges and Eataly.
Speaking of the HoH Food Hall in Hull, Des commented:
“Knowing Yorkshire’s reputation for great quality produce and discovering the local community’s passion for food, I was excited at the concept to regenerate an iconic city centre building into something completely unique.
Since working with the team, we’ve developed something really special – we’ll be working with around 100 partners, vendors and suppliers and hope to be creating around 400 new jobs.”
Showing a strong commitment to the city and to the project, Des and his team will take up residence in new offices in Hull city centre and will be looking to connect with independent vendors both locally and nationally.
With the HoH Food Hall development set for a summer launch, the RoK Operations team have since leased three further units in Edinburgh, Worcester and Cheshire with plans to open more in vacant department stores across the UK.
Eann Ramsey-Smith, Project Manager, ROK Opps added:
“The High Street is undergoing major changes, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating huge shifts in the way people shop. The food hall platform offers local producers the ability to plug and play, creating a diverse offer at each location, where our focus is on the local supply chain, local labour, zero waste, local partnerships and the ability to create a vibrant community in our buildings.
We’re developing a unique concept of Artisan Food Halls, which focus on visual production. Combining food retail, hospitality and culture, all of our food halls will be independent and completely unique; we don’t have a cookie-cutter approach.”
Jeremy Seymour, JS LAND & CAPITAL (GLOBAL) LTD (agent on behalf of the landlord) commented:
“Our collaborative approach is at the heart of everything we do. The partnership between landlord, tenant, operators and the local community is the bedrock of everything we are determined to achieve.”